The “Giraffe proof”, 1785.
Internationally, Johann Heinrich Merck is highly respected for his paleontology studies. He is appointed to scientific societies in Homburg, Kassel, Lausanne, and Prague. He commissions an etching of the representation of a giraffe skeleton and sends to Goethe in 1785.
1754: With Johann Justus Merck, the first high point in the professionalization is reached
When Friedrich Jacob dies childless in 1678, his nephew takes over the pharmacy. From then, it is passed on from father to son. In 1754, the landgrave Ludwig VIII engages Johann Justus Merck from the 4th generation as a pharmacist. In 1758, he dies at the age of 31, in the same year as his wife.
1744: Court Pharmacist Gotthold Meyer’s certificate issued for Johann Justus Merck
Johann Justus Merck completes his apprenticeship in the renowned Court Pharmacy in Dresden. It is certainly not by chance that he chooses Stuttgart as his next place of learning: Here he can work with the most modern pharmaceutical formularies of the age.
The “Wirtenbergica pharmacopoeia“
The Wirtenbergica pharmacopoeia makes contemporary work in the “pharmaceutical arts” possible. Although the archives at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, have no original documents on work in the pharmacy, it is still possible to get an idea of the basic workings of the enterprise.
1758: An orphaned pharmacy…
When Johann Justus dies, his son is one year old. How can the pharmacy continue? Decisive is the fact that the grandfather already left the family “well looked after” and the pharmacy was also set up that way. The license is “confirmed,” an acting pharmacist may operate and manage the pharmacy.
Carl Heinrich Merck (here is his entry in a friendship album) and the Siberia expedition
In 1785, the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences engages Carl Heinrich Merck as a natural scientist. An expedition sets out to explore regions such as Chukotka and Kamchatka. Carl Heinrich Merck collects plants, minerals and zoological material; his ethnological drawings achieve great importance.
The seal of Johann Anton Merck: the coat of arms of the Hessian branch of the family
Since 1741, the epitaph for Johann Franz Merck bears a coat of arms: a figure holding the twigs of a (medicinal) plant in his hand. The “chamomile man” will become the company’s logo – as it symbolizes its origins. In 1894, the picture mark is protected as a trademark.
1782: Johann Anton Merck and the fascination of the mineral collection
Johann Anton’s work connects practice with theory and the systematization of findings. Before taking over the pharmacy in 1782, he receives interdisciplinary training from scholars. He has a reputation of being far better educated than his “fellow contemporaries”.