Guide to the Syntex Collection of Pharmaceutical Advertising
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0821
Creators:
Syntex
Dates:
1962-1978
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
13 Cubic feet
25 boxes
Repository:
The collection consists of domestic and foreign advertisements--primarily tearsheets from medical journals--leaflets, and product literature from 1962 to 1978, maintained by Syntex to track its competitors' products.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of domestic and foreign advertisements primarily from medical journals, leaflets, and some product literature from 1962 to 1978, maintained by Syntex of its competitors' products. Many of the ads have "press advertisements control of repetition" slips stapled to them. These slips, maintained by Syntex, captured the journal title the contained the advertisement, the country, year, month, and length of time the ad ran. For example, The Medical Journal of Australia Advertiser, Australia, 1971, April, 17 days. General drug product categories include anti-inflammatories, analgesics, dermatologicals, respiratory drugs, psychological therapies, anabolic steroids, sex hormones, and oral contraceptives. The arrangement of each series reflects the original order. Some of the series contain a coding system presumably applied by the company. For example BC means birth control; GYN means gynecological and PT means psychological therapy. Only Series One, Two and Three have these acronyms applied at the folder level.
Series 1, Birth Control/Gynecological Therapy, 1962-1978, is arranged alphabetically by country. When known, the name of the drug manufacturer is provided. The oral contraceptive and menopausal hormone advertising is a good source of images of women.
Series 2, Steroids, 1963-1976, consists of advertisements for steroids, but drugs for other conditions are represented here, such as arthritis. The materials are arranged alphabetically by country, followed by the name of the drug manufacturer. In some instances the drug name is noted parenthetically.
Series 3, Psychological Therapy, 1969-1977 and undated, consists of advertisements related to drugs that treat depression and anxiety. Many of the ads feature images of men and women in various psychological states. The series is arranged alphabetically by country followed by the drug manufacturer and the name of the specific drug in parentheses. For example: Australia, Ciba (Trasicor).
Series 4, Analgesics, 1964-1978 and undated, consists of advertisements for drugs that relate to pain reduction or anti-inflammatories. The series is arranged alphabetically by country with the drug manufacturer name provided.
Series 5, Dermatologicals, circa 1970s, consists of advertisements for dermatological drugs such as ointments, acne lotions, nasal sprays, creams, lotions, suppositories, aerosols, and powders. The series is arranged alpabetically by drug type. For example, drugs with dexamethasone are grouped together followed by dietilamine, estilone, and fluazacort. Within that drug group the name of the specific drug is listed parenthetically along with the country. The collection inventory reads as: Dexamethasone (Ortricorten), Germany. In some instances, the drug manufacturer is listed, but overall this information is inconsistent.
Series 6, Cardiovascular, circa 1970s, consists of advertisements for cardiac related drugs. The series is arranged alphabetically by drug categories, followed by the specific drug name if known and country. For example, Practolol (Eraldin), South Africa and Practolol (Eraldine), France.
Series 7, Respiratory, circa 1970s, consists of advertisements for respiratory drugs and therapies. The series is arranged alphabetically by drug categories, followed by the specific drug name, if known, and country. For example, Beclomethasone (Aldecin), New Zealand.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into seven series.
Series 1, Birth Control/Gynecological Therapy, 1962-1978
Subseries 1, Australia, 1968-1977
Subseries 2, Austria, 1969
Subseries 3, Belgium, 1965-1972 and undated
Subseries 4, Canada, 1974-1976
Subseries 5, England, 1962-1977
Subseries 6, France, 1965-1977
Subseries 7, Germany, 1965-1977
Subseries 8, Hong Kong, 1975
Subseries 9, India, 1968-1973
Subseries 10, Italy, 1965-1976
Subseries 11, Japan, 1972-1973
Subseries 12, Netherlands, 1963-1969
Subseries 13, New Zealand, 1969-1978
Subseries 14, Portgual, 1965-1971
Subseries 15, South Africa, 1969-1976
Subseries 16, Sweden, 1968-1972
Subseries 17, Switzerland, 1964-1974
Subseries 18, Thailand, circa 1970s
Subseries 19, Turkey, 1972
Series 2, [Steroids?], 1963-1976
Series 3, Psychological Therapy, 1969-1977 and undated
Series 4, Analgesics, 1964-1978 and undated
Series 5, Dermatologicals, circa 1970s
Series 6, Cardiovascular, circa 1970s
Series 7, Respiratory, circa 1970s

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Syntex, S.A. was a pharmaceutical company formed in Mexico City in 1944 by Russell Marker (1902-1995), an American chemist who worked for the Ethyl Corporation. Marker successfully made synthetic progesterone (pregnancy hormone) from chemical constituents found in Mexican barbasco plants, which are inediable wild yams. Initially the company was a supplier of steroid chemicals, but it eventually evolved into a producer of other pharmaceuticals under its own name. This led to the development at Syntex of an oral contraceptive pill that was cost effective and a cheap, ample supply of cortisone. The company further broadened its scope to develop medicines to treat chronic illness and major diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's. The pharmaceutical products offered by Syntex related to allergies, anti-inflammatory/analgesic, anti-viral, cardiovascular, dermatologic, and reproductive/gynecologic drug therapies.
In 1957, Syntex incorporated in Panama, and in 1958 became a publicly owned company. In 1964, Syntex branded it's own contraceptive Norinyl and established a United States presence in Palo Alto, California. Several divisions were formed: Syva Company (diagnostics division); Syntex Opthalmics; Syntex Agribusiness, Inc.; Syntex Dental Products; and Syntex Beauty Care, Inc. The company's name is derived from the "Synt" in Synthesis and "ex" in Mexico. In 1994, the Roche Group, a Swiss global health-care company, acquired Syntex.
References
Syntex Corporation, Syntex Corporation, 1990.
Syntex Corporation,About Syntex Corporation, 1982-1983.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Erin Molloy (volunteer), Allyssa Tidwell (intern) and Lydia Chiro (intern), supervised by Alison Oswald, June, 2011. Finding aid authored by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Author
Alison Oswald.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Syntex in 1982.

Using the Collection
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Stored off-site. Arrangements must be made with the Archives Center staff two-weeks prior to a scheduled research visit.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
Syntex Collection of Pharmaceutical Advertising, 1960s-1979, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The collection was transferred to the Archives Center in 2002 from the Division of Medicine and Science.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Pamphlets -- 1960-1970 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Advertisements -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tear sheets Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hormones industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pharmaceutical industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Contraceptives industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives