Sterling Drug


Submitted by Mary Staley.


          Sterling, originally know as the Neuralgyline Co, was formulated May 14, 1901, by Canton Ohio High classmates, Albert H. Diebold and pharmacist William E. Weiss in Wheeling. With $25,000, the two began production of a patent pain reliever as neuralgine.

          The two worked three days a week in their plant located at 92nd in Wheeling. They sold the product door to door in rented buggies another three days a week.

          Special board meetings were called to make such “important” decisions as hiring a stenographer at $5 per week, the purchaser of a safe and the instillation of a telephone.

          A 1917 merger formed the Sterling Patent Medicine Co.  As WW1 was winding to a close in 1918, Sterling purchased Bayer Co, originator of aspirin, for $5.3 million.

          Throughout the ensuring years, other products by Sterling included Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Fletcher’s Castoria, Dr. Lyons tooth powder.  Sterling also owned Bristol Myers, Beech Nut, Vicks Chemical Co, and United drug-Rexall.

          Eastman Kodak bought Sterling Drug in 1988 for 5.1 Billion