Medicine: Post-Mortem

Forty years ago, when the U. S. was fighting Spain, an enterprising Tennessean, Samuel Evans Massengill, then 27 and not yet graduated from the University of Nashville Medical School, decided to manufacture drugs for doctors rather than practice medicine himself. His business, established in Bristol, Tenn., grew until it had $300,000 in assets. Then, two months ago, fatality knocked at its door. A new mixture of a new drug (sulfanilamide) with a new solvent (diethylene glycol), which Dr. Massengill's salesmen sold as Elixir Sulfanilamide-Massengill, was discovered to be killing its users (TIME,...

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