Located in Historic New Lebanon


The Tilden Pharmaceutical Company
Category:Medicinal Businesses

In 1848 Samuel's brother Henry took over the herbal medicine business begun by their father Elam, transforming it into the nations first modern pharmaceutical firm.

In 1790, the Tilden family began farming a tract of land at present day Route 20 & 22 intersection, just west of the Mount Lebanon Shaker Village. This was the beginning of a unique collaboration between the Tilden Family and the Shakers, which resulted in the Shaker herb and medicine businesses and the Tilden Pharmaceutical Company.

Under Henry's leadership the Tilden Company built a large steam driven factory for processing medicinal herb extracts on a large scale, setting new standards for innovation and product quality, and reaching a national market. The company thrived well into the 20th century, when its business began to suffer and it was taken over by a succession of firms.  Although the original factory and the later landmark factory/laboratory are gone, several remaining physical reminders of the firm recall the importance of the pharmaceutical industry in New Lebanon including:

The Tilden Office Building -[1800-10] Today occupied by the Angel's trumpet Florists, this building housed the Tilden Company Offices during the Expansion of the firm in the second half of the 19th century.  It later served as New Lebanon's first fire house.

The Medicine Store House -[circa 1850] This imposing stone structure, originally located across from the factory and later moved to the site of Clark Engineering, housed herbs and medicinal compounds prior to shipping.  the barrel windows indicate the need for security in storing valuable and potentially dangerous pharmaceutical materials.