Fisher Scientific

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Fisher Scientific
Industry Scientific tools and reagents
Fate Acquisition
Successor Thermo Fisher Scientific
Founded 1902
Defunct 2006
Headquarters Hampton, New Hampshire
Key people
Paul Montrone, last CEO
David T. Della Panta, last president/COO
Fisher brand caliper.

Fisher Scientific International, Inc. (NYSE: FSH[citation needed]) (colloquially known as Fisher) was a laboratory supply and biotechnology company that provided products and services to the global scientific research and United States clinical laboratory markets.

Its customers included pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, colleges, universities, and secondary education institutions, medical research institutions, hospitals and reference labs and quality control, process control and research and development laboratories. The company offered more than 600,000 products and services to over 350,000 customers located in approximately 150 countries. No single customer represented more than 3% of its total sales in the year ended December 31, 2004.

In May 2006, Fisher Scientific and Thermo Electron announced that they would merge in a tax-free, stock-for-stock exchange. The merger closed on November 9, 2006 and the merged company is now called Thermo Fisher Scientific.


The company was founded in Pittsburgh in 1902 by Chester Garfield Fisher (1881-1965), originally called the "Scientific Materials Co.".[1][2] After obtaining his degree in engineering at Western University of Pennsylvania, C.G. Fisher purchased the stockroom of the Pittsburgh Testing Laboratory. Fisher became a supplier of lab equipment and reagents for the area's industrial research. Early products included microscopes, burets, pipettes, litmus, balances, colorimeters, dissecting kits, and anatomical models.[2] The first catalog, the 400 page Scientific Materials Co. Catalog of Laboratory Apparatus & Supplies, was published in 1904. Fisher established an R&D lab at his company in 1915. Edwin Fisher, Chester's brother, developed the Fisher burner in 1921, an advancement on the design of the Bunsen burner.[1] The company manufactured an electric-combustion furnace and combustion train for analyzing carbon levels in steel, and an electrically heated and thermostatically controlled bacteriological incubator.[2] In 1925, the company purchased Montreal-based Scientific Supplies, Ltd.[2]

In 1925, the company was renamed Fisher Scientific. In 1940, Fisher Sci acquired the New York supply company Eimer & Amend, which was founded in 1851 by Bernard G. Amend.[1]

Aiken Fisher, Chester's oldest son, became president of the company in 1949. In 1955, Fisher established a chemical manufacturing facility in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. In 1959 the company opened an instrument and supplies facility in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Chester Fisher died in 1965 at age 84. His sons maintained leadership of the company, with Aiken becoming Chairman and Benjamin becoming president. The youngest son, James Fisher, had the title Senior Vice President.[1]

In 1957, the company purchased the New York-based medical apparatus supply company E. Machlett & Sons. In 1962, the company installed an IBM computer system to record and track inventory levels for more than 40,000 items.[2]

Fisher Scientific Company issued its first public stock in 1965, and that year the company had $58 million in sales and close to a million customer transactions. In 1968 Fisher shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[1] In 1965 the company introduced the Differential Thermalyzer, a Differential thermal analysis instrument.[2] It acquired Pfeiffer Glass, Inc. in 1966, manufacturer of high accuracy volumetric pipettes. The company released the Photometric Titralyzer that year, and a Hem-alyzer in 1968. In 1968, it purchased Massachusetts-based Jarrell-Ash Company, producer of optical instrumentation, particularly for emission and atomic absorption spectroscopy. It acquired Stansi Scientific Company, of Chicago, in 1967, expanding into educational science supplies. In 1976, Fisher Scientific established an Instrument Service Division.[2]

Fisher was acquired by Morristown, New Jersey-based Allied Corporation in 1981 for $330 million.[3] At this time Benjamin R. Fisher was Chairman of the company, having gained the position in 1975 upon Aiken's retirement. Operating as a subsidiary of Allied Corporation (and later AlliedSignal Inc., and The Henley Group), Fisher established a Biotechnology Division in 1985.[2]

In 1991, The Henley Group sold a majority interest in Fisher through a public stock offering. The public entity was called Fisher Scientific International Inc., and based in Hampton, New Hampshire. Fisher Scientific Company remained in Pittsburgh as an operating subsidiary. In 1992, Fisher facilities were ISO-9000 certified.[2]

In the 90's, Fisher, with partner Intertech Corporation of Atkinson, New Hampshire, set up a pharmaceutical testing and certification lab in Moscow, Russia, to serve with the Russian Federation's Ministry of Health and Medical Industry needs. Fisher acquired Eastman Kodak Company's organic-chemicals business and Janssen Chimica, forming Acros Organics.[2]

In August 2004, the company merged with Apogent Technologies Inc., a company engaged primarily in the manufacture and sale of laboratory products in the United States and other countries.


  1. ^ Lower, Josh (2005). "Fisher Scientific International Inc." Hoover's Online. Retrieved 4 July 2005.
  2. ^ 2004 Annual Report (Form 10-K). Retrieved 4 July 2005.

Infobox information[1][2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "History of Fisher Scientific". Hampton, NH library. Retrieved 27 Apr 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 "Fisher Scientific International Inc. History". Retrieved 27 Apr 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "ALLIED SET TO BUY FISHER SCIENTIFIC". NYTimes. 31 Jul 1981. Retrieved 27 Apr 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

See also