Charles E. Frosst

Charles E. Frosst




Class of 1992

Charles E. Frosst, manufacturing pharmacist, and founder of Charles E. Frosst & Co.

Charles Frosst was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1867. A serious man, stern at times, lttle is recorded about his childhood or formal schooling. At age 25 he arrived in Montreal, Quebec to work as a salesman for American-based pharmaceutical supplier, Henry Wampole Company.

At age 32, Charles felt he had learned enough about the pharmaceutical trade to risk his name and limited assets and, in 1899, he founded his own company. Driven by a determination to make the Charles E. Frosst & Co. respected and successful, Charles developed his own formulas and acted as his own salesman. By necessity, he often designed the machinery needed to manufacture his products.

Pharmaceutical research and product development were priorities for Charles as he strove to replace old-time remedies with finished products. He received the first Canadian license, in 1928, to manufacture and sell synthetic Vitamin D2. Frosst’s development of the formulas for the well-known 222 and 292 tablets, revolutionized the industry.

Charles, and his three sons, worked together through two decades of major growth.  Their multi million dollar enterprise employed hundreds of people. In the 1940’s, research expanded into products that would fight against bacterial infections and into veterinary medicines.

Charles retired in 1943 at age 76. In 1959, under the management of his sons, the company was listed on the Montreal and Toronto Exchanges. Six years later, American pharmaceutical giant Merck & Company took control. Merck-Frosst Canada remains a leading, fully integrated multi-national pharmaceutical company.

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