The Upjohn Company started in 1886 and lasted until 1995, some 109 years. Most of the Upjohn buildings in Kalamazoo and Portage have been demolished or are no longer part of Pfizer. However, the Portage manufacturing complex built by Upjohn in the late 1940’s is still in operation. It makes a wide variety of products, including all the Pfizer Covid vaccine used in North and South America. This presentation will show you some interesting history about the Portage site and The Upjohn Company.
Presenter Bio: Jeremy Winkworth started at The Upjohn Company in May 1980, one week before the Kalamazoo tornado, as an analytical chemist in the Control Division of the Portage site. He was fortunate to avoid the many waves of layoffs and retired in 2017 after 37 years of service. In 2009, a chance conversation led to him gathering up all the remaining Upjohn Company history being stored in a records retention warehouse. This included a box of old 16mm movies from as far back as the 1940s. Eventually all this material ended up on a public web site, which has 850 web pages and over 18,000 images. Jeremy is now considered to be the official Upjohn Company historian and enjoys giving presentations to any interested group.