At 47, grey -haired, jut-jawed Alvin George Brush sometimes feels like the old-woman-in-the-shoe. As board chairman of American Home Products Corp., he runs one of the biggest and the fastest-growing drug, food and household goods companies in the U.S. Its 5,000 products range from auto paint to penicillin.

So far this year, A.H.P. has gobbled up seven companies, may still top its '41 record, when it picked up nine. But last week kinetic Mr. Brush had his mathematical mind firmly fixed on the postwar world: he had just completed a dicker with Metropolitan Life for a $7,500,000 loan to rebuild, reorient...

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