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Advertising Art, Industry, Merck’s Laboratories & Works, View, Germany, Antique Print, c. 1891-1917

Merck’s Laboratories & Works, Founded in the Year 1668
Friedrich Schoembs, Offenbach am Main, Germany: c. 1891-1917
26 x 36 inches
Price on request

Bird’s-eye panoramic view of the Merck Laboratories factory complex in Darmstadt, Germany, subtitled with the slogan, “Fine Chemicals and Drugs for the Materia Medica and the Arts.” The tinted lithograph, in muted shades of brown and gray, shows a detailed drawing of the buildings and streets. It conveys a sense of lively activity with plumes of smoke and steam issuing from the factory smokestacks and numerous people and carriages in the roads and courtyards. A smaller inset view shows the pharmaceutical company’s headquarters on the Luisenplatz, Darmstadt’s central plaza, where it has been located since 1668. The inset prominently features the Ludwig Monument, a tower topped by a statue that was built in 1844 for Ludwig I, first Grand Duke of Hesse. This view is titled in English and undated; nonetheless given the company history, it most likely was published between 1891 and 1918.

Product description continues below.


E. Merck was founded in 1668, when Jacob Friedrich Merck purchased a drugstore in Darmstadt, Germany. Successive generations of the Merck family grew the company into one of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies. Among other achievements, it pioneered the commercial manufacture of morphine. Merck & Co. was established in 1891 as the United States subsidiary of the German company by a member of the family, George (Georg) Merck. In 1917, the year that the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies fighting Germany, Merck & Co. was expropriated by the American government and established as an American company. While it still operates today as Merck & Co. in North America, the original Merck firm based in Darmstadt holds the rights to the Merck name everywhere else. Today Merck & Co. is the world’s seventh largest pharmaceutical company by market capitalization and revenue and is headquartered in New Jersey.

Friedrich Schoembs (1832-1879) established a major lithographic firm bearing his name in Offenbach am Main, Germany, the city where lithography was invented by Alois Senefelder in 1800 and became one of its major industries. After Schoembs’s death, Johannes Lippmann joined the firm as artistic director and partner, and remained there from 1880 to 1908. The Friedrich Schoembs company continued to expand into the early 20th century, however it did not survive the world economic crisis of the Great Depression. The former factory buildings still stand.

Full title: Merck’s Laboratories & Works, Founded in the Year 1668. Fine Chemicals and Drugs for the Materia Medica and the Arts. E. Merck, Darmstadt. Merck & Co. New York.

Condition:  Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with minor remaining toning and wear.  Professionally laid on Japanese tissue to restore a few minor short marginal tears.


Ehrig, Andrea et al. Route der Industrielkultur Rhein-Main: Offenback am Main. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: KulturRegion FrankfurtRheinMain, July 2017. p. 7. (14 March 2018).

“Merck & Co.” Wikipedia. 8 March 2018. (14 March 2018).