Miles Laboratories

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Miles Laboratories
IndustryHealth care
FateRenamed under the North American division of Bayer AG
SuccessorNorth American division of Bayer AG
FounderDr. Franklin L. Miles
HeadquartersElkhart, Indiana, U.S.
ProductsAlka-Seltzer, Flintstones Vitamins, One-A-Day Vitamins and Bactine
ParentBayer AG (1979–1995)

Miles Laboratories was founded as the Dr. Miles Medical Company in Elkhart, Indiana, in 1884 by Dr. Franklin Lawrence Miles, a specialist in the treatment of eye and ear disorders, with an interest in the connection of the nervous system to overall health. Miles operated as an independent firm from 1884 until 1979 and as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer AG from 1979 until 1995, when it was consolidated into the parent corporation.


By 1890, the sales success of his patent medicine tonic, "Dr. Miles Restorative Nervine", in treating "nervous" ailments (including "nervousness or nervous exhaustion, sleeplessness, hysteria, headache, neuralgia, backache, pain, epilepsy, spasms, fits, and St. Vitus' dance") led him to develop a mail order medicine business. Miles also published Medical News, from 1884 — a thinly disguised marketing vehicle for Nervine, now referenced as advertorials. Nervine remained on the market as a "calmative" until the late 1960s; Miles' bromide sedative syrup is considered "a precursor to modern tranquilizers."[1]

In 1932, the company became Dr. Miles Laboratories, then, in 1935, the name was again changed, to Miles Laboratories.

In 1970– to complement its existing vitamin manufacturing division –Miles laboratories merged with Adventist-owned Worthington Foods of Ohio, opening a new Worthington Foods factory in 1972 to quadruple production capacity for a line of vegetarian foods based on the meat analogue developed over the previous two decades by Worthington, to be marketed under the brand name Morning Star Farm Foods,[2] Morning Star was sold with Worthington Foods to Kellogg's in 1999.[3]

In 1979, Bayer AG– after its U.S. and Canadian aspirin business was seized as enemy property during World War I and subsequently sold as enemy assets –purchased Miles Laboratories and its subsidiary Miles Canada to reestablish a presence in North America. In the process, Bayer also acquired products such as Alka-Seltzer, Flintstones Vitamins, One-A-Day Vitamins, Bactine, S.O.S Soap Pads, and Worthington Foods.

Bayer continued to operate Miles Laboratories and developed many drugs based upon biological extracts, such as Kogenate, Gamimune-N and other immunoglobulins, and Trasylol, as well as diagnostic products such as blood glucose test strips and glucose meters. Miles also owned Cutter Laboratories, manufacturer of such diverse products as insect repellent and synthetic human Factor VIII clotting factor for hemophiliacs.

In 1992, Bayer AG moved the United States headquarters of Miles to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from Elkhart, Indiana. On April 1, 1995, Bayer eliminated the Miles brand name from all products and facilities after Bayer had acquired Sterling Winthrop the previous year.

Miles Laboratories also operated sites in other parts of the United States, including West Haven, Connecticut, which are now part of Bayer AG.


  1. ^ Griffin, Jessica "Dr. Miles Restorative Nervine, Elkhart, Indiana"; Old Maine Artifacts; 30 November 2013.
  2. ^ Worthington Libraries "Officers of Worthington Foods and Miles Laboratories";; Worthington, Ohio; 16 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Kellogg pivots to boost sales of Morningstar Farms". Fortune. December 17, 2016. Retrieved April 13, 2017.