Barnes Foundation Archives 2012 - səhifə 2
Albert C. Barnes Correspondence 1902-1951 ABC
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Barnes traveled twice to study and work in Germany. From 1894 – 1895, he studied physiological
chemistry at the University of Berlin, and also worked as a sales agent for an American stove company.
Upon returning to the United States, H.K. Mulford and Company, a pharmaceuticals manufacturer,
employed him as an advertising and sales manager. Barnes said that he also tutored, translated, and
edited for the next few years while continuing with his own research work.(7) In 1900, H.K. Mulford
and Company sent him back to Germany to study pharmacology at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat in
Heidelberg. Barnes wrote and published his Doctor’s Arbeit on morphine derivatives in one year, and also
recruited German chemist Hermann Hille to work for the company.
LAURA L. BARNES
Barnes returned home to Philadelphia late in the summer of 1900 and, while vacationing with his cousin
in Milford, Pennsylvania, met his future wife, Laura Leggett (1875 – 1966). She was born in Brooklyn,
New York, the fifth child of six children born to Richard Lee and Clara Cox Leggett. Her father, who had
also served in the Civil War in New York City’s 7th Regiment, owned a successful wholesale grocery
business. Albert C. Barnes and Laura Leggett were married the following spring on June 4, 1901 at
St. James Episcopal Church in Brooklyn. They sailed to Europe on their honeymoon, first visiting the
university that Barnes attended in Heidelberg, and continuing on through the Black Forest to Switzerland
and Italy. The couple purchased their first home at 6374 Drexel Road in the Overbrook section of
BARNES AND HILLE
Although H.K. Mulford and Company employed both Barnes and Herman Hille, the two men worked
together privately to develop Argyrol, an antiseptic silver compound which proved beneficial in the
treatment of eye inflammations, especially in infants. In 1902, they resigned their positions at H.K.
Mulford and Company and organized their own partnership, Barnes and Hille. Barnes handled the sales
and marketing, leaving Hille in charge of the laboratory located at 24 North 40th Street in Philadelphia.
Barnes employed both of his parents. His mother, Lydia A. Barnes, kept the books, and his father, John J.
Barnes, worked as the company watchman.
In 1902, Barnes and Hille also perfected the formula for Ovoferrin, an easily assimilated salt of iron.
Barnes found international distribution for Argyrol and Ovoferrin through Fassett & Johnson Company
with offices in London, England and Sydney, Australia. Due to Barnes’s business acumen, the company’s
earnings steadily increased over the next few years, and were further enhanced by an absence of
global competition. Argyrol was simply trade-marked, never patented, which would have revealed the
medicine’s formula. Only Hermann Hille knew the secret.
As early as December of 1905, Barnes expressed his dissatisfaction with Hille’s job performance but, by
1907, the partnership truly began to fail. In a letter to Hille, Barnes said, “I do not concede that you have
been an ‘equal partner,’ in reality, in this business, judged from your acts and other tangible evidence.”(8)
He instructed Hille to send all further communications to his lawyer, John G. Johnson (1841 – 1917),
and demanded of Hille that he divulge the “formulae, methods and processes of all the investigations,
inventions and discoveries made by [him] from April 30, 1903 up to the present date.”(9) Johnson sent
Barnes a copy of the partnership’s dissolution in September of 1908.
A.C. BARNES COMPANY
Albert C. Barnes Correspondence 1902-1951 ABC
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The demise of Barnes’s partnership with Hermann Hille launched his new business, A.C. Barnes
Company. Equipped with the knowledge of Argyrol’s formula, his company enjoyed continued success,
offering Barnes and his wife the opportunity to advance their standard of living. The couple had already
built their second home, “Lauraston,” named for Mrs. Barnes, on Union Avenue (now North Latch’s
Lane) in Merion, Pennsylvania, in 1905. Barnes hunted with the Pickering Hunt, the Chester Valley Hunt
Club, and the Rose Tree Fox Hunting Club. In 1910, he established the “Lauraston Cup,” a trophy for the
Rose Tree Races.
There is still speculation regarding the source of Barnes’s passion for art. He said that in the years
following his honeymoon, he returned to vacation in Europe every summer, went to “big galleries, to
various exhibitions of contemporary painting and to the dealers,” and bought some paintings simply
“because [he] liked them.”(10) Barnes’s subsequent interest in the study of art, “especially as it related
to education,” led to a resumption of his friendship with William Glackens in 1910. Barnes said, “I spent
many days in his studio and he came frequently to my house to visit me and discuss the paintings I had
accumulated.”(11) In the winter of 1912, Barnes sent Glackens to Paris to scout the galleries for paintings.
Accompanied by Alfred Henry Maurer (1868 – 1932), his friend and fellow member of the American
Ashcan School, Glackens bought approximately thirty-three works of art.
Barnes traveled to Paris himself in June of 1912. After returning home, he asked Maurer to continue to
“be on the lookout for paintings of the character which I desire, namely, good examples of works by
Maner [sic], Daumier, Ingres, Bazille, Goya, and such other of the masters who are not yet represented in
my collection.”(12) Barnes also suggested a business relationship to Maurer, offering him compensation
of two hundred and fifty francs per month to help market Argyrol in France. When Barnes visited
France again in December of 1912, he met collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein and purchased his first
two paintings by Henri Matisse. This marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship and correspondence
between Barnes and Leo Stein (1862 – 1947).
Meanwhile, the A.C. Barnes Company prospered. Barnes organized the business as a cooperative,
encouraging personal growth and a spirit of mutual respect among his employees. It inspired such
efficiency that the factory work could be completed in six hours, leaving the remaining two hours of
the day devoted to seminars for the workers. Comprised of nine individuals, the staff included white
women and African American men of various ages and levels of education. Barnes had hired Nelle
E. Mullen (1884 – 1967), while she was still in her teens, to be the company’s bookkeeper and, later,
brought her older sister Mary Mullen (1875 – 1957) into the company. When he stated that “one of the
women, who had a flair for psychology,” led the seminars, it was most likely Mary Mullen to whom he
referred. The workers read and discussed the pragmatic writings of William James and John Dewey.
George Santayana’s The Sense of Beauty (1896) provoked an interest in art and creative imagination to
which Barnes responded by hanging paintings from his collection in the factory building. These afternoon
seminars eventually resulted in the publication of Mary Mullen’s book, An Approach to Art (1923).
Though the war in Europe suspended travel to France to buy art, Barnes continued to collect his favorite
American artists, William J. Glackens, Ernest Lawson, and Maurice Prendergast. He remained vigorously
interested in art and philosophy, writing two essays in 1915, “How to Judge a Painting” published in Arts and Decoration and one on cubism, “Cubism: Requiescat in Pace.” While Barnes spent weekday
afternoons discussing books and paintings with his employees, he and Mrs. Barnes devoted their Sundays
to the performing arts at “Lauraston.” Violinist Vasilii Vasilévich Bezekirskii performed sonatas
by Franck, Mozart, Beethoven and Lalo accompanied by pianist Jean Verd. Barnes even purchased
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