Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Baxter Travenol Laboratories Inc.
Baxter Travenol Laboratories Inc.

Baxter Travenol Laboratories Inc.

Workers at Baxter Laboratories, 1942
In 1931, physicians Donald Baxter of Los Angeles and Ralph Falk of Boise, Idaho, started the Don Baxter Intravenous Products Corp., which made supplies for IV systems in hospitals. In 1933, Baxter started a manufacturing plant in Glenview. A pioneer in blood preservation methods as well as IV supplies, Baxter grew steadily. In 1947, it moved its headquarters to Morton Grove; the company soon employed over 500 people in the Chicago area. Annual sales grew from about $10 million in the mid-1950s to more than $100 million by 1967, when the company was making dialysis equipment, heart-lung machines, and many other equipment items for hospitals. In 1975, when it employed about 2,200 in the Chicago area, the company moved its headquarters to suburban Glenview; the following year, its name changed to Baxter Travenol Laboratories. The company grew rapidly thereafter. In 1985, when annual sales stood at about $2 billion, Baxter bought the American Hospital Supply Corp., an even larger Chicago-area medical supply company. The new company, which in 1988 became Baxter International Inc., was an enormous entity that soon approached $10 billion in annual sales; about 10,000 of its 50,000 employees worldwide were in the Chicago area. During the 1990s, however, Baxter sold off several divisions, including many of the old American Hospital Supply Corp. operations. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Baxter again began buying firms such as ESI Lederle. By 2002, Baxter's annual sales exceeded $8 billion; it had some 5,500 Chicago-area workers and 48,000 employees worldwide. See also American Hospital Supply Corp.