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Francis Hardy Faulding 1816-1868


[One pharmaceutical enterprise which put greater emphasis on the manufacturing side of its business and whose successors strengthened this emphasis was Faulding's. ]

“Solyptol” antiseptic products in the Museum of Fauldings Pharmaceuticals, Salisbury

“Solyptol” bottle (label reads “containing Faulding’s eucalyptus oil in a soluble form”.

The only remaining eucalyptus oil distillery on Kangaroo Island

Interior of the only remaining eucalyptus oil distillery on Kangaroo Island



2005 marked the 160th anniversary of the founding of FH Faulding and Company Limited by Francis Hardy Faulding. He was born in the Yorkshire town of Swinefleet in 1816, the son of a surgeon. At age 25, Francis sailed to Australia on the emigrant ship "Naob" as assistant surgeon.

He first landed in Sydney, February 1842 and then journeyed to Adelaide in May of the same year. Within three years, Francis had acquired property and became known as "A Rundle Street Gentleman". This placed him well to open his retail pharmacy business on May 19, 1845 at 5 Rundle Street.

Here he dispensed physicians' and surgeons' prescriptions, medicine chests to people like explorer John M'Douall Stuart (also rendered as McDouall Stuart), toilet requisites, and medicines for sheep, cattle and horses. The drugs and remedies were simple and based upon naturally occurring substances and family recipes.


Rundle Street, Adelaide, looking east , 1946. Oil by John Charles Goodchild. Commissioned by A.F.Scammell in 1945 to mark 100 years of Faulding. (based on ST Gill’s 1851 painting).


Francis's brother Joseph remained in England and helped Faulding become an importer & distributor of drugs and patent preparations. By 1850. Faulding was selling several proprietary lines such as "Faulding's anti-bilious, aperient pills", Pectoral Pills" and ointments for ringworm. In 1861. Francis formed a partnership with an English emigrant physician named Luther Robert Scammell and the company then traded under the name of FH Faulding & Co.


FH Faulding & Co Ltd

After consolidating Scammells' dispensary and Faulding's various distribution and manufacturing activities, Faulding began to diversify the 'Phoenix' Trade mark.

From its beginnings, the firm showed a flare for innovation. After Simpson's discover of the anaesthetic properties of chloroform in 1847, Francis Faulding was the first to import chloroform. In 1858, he distributed cocaine preparations and in 1864 he produced the first olive oil from South Australian olives. After J. Lister's reports in the Lancet on the reduction of mortality after surgery with the use of phenol, Faulding began production of antiseptics ("Solyptol") in 1867.

Faulding was also the first to utilize the medicinal and antiseptic properties of eucalyptus oil which was obtained from distilleries on Kangaroo Island and produced under the direction of Ernest Arthur Scammell.

At the 1887 South Australian Jubilee Exhibition, Faulding displayed its eucalyptus oil to the world. In 1896 Samuel Barbour, Faulding's senior manufacturing chemist travelled to England and saw the earliest X-Ray pictures. Upon his return he worked with Walter Rowe, another Faulding chemist & William Bragg from the University of Adelaide & produced the first Australian X-Ray pictures.


The Second World War in Europe disrupted the supply of cod liver oil, an important source of Vitamin A. Faulding chemists found an alternative source in White Schnapper (or School) Shark, which sustained supplies in Australia as well as generated export to the UK.

When supplies of I.G. Farben's newly discovered sulpha drugs ran out. Faulding become involved in the national program organised by the Medical Equipment Control Committee (MECC) and jointly with universities, synthesised sulphanilamide.

Faulding's was also the first private enterprise to produce yet another life saving drug of military importance, Penicillin. After the war, basic synthesis of antibiotics became difficult to sustain by private enterprise because of the gigantic scale advantages of competing US producers and Faulding's maintained their business by a combination of marketing, wholesaling and producing consumer and medical products.

In 1969 a landmark corporate plan was developed which saw Faulding's in the 70's set a remarkable precedent in research strategy and achievement for an Australian Pharmaceutical business. The company reformulated high technology drugs and decided to market its products internationally. A number of non profitable lines were deleted from production. So, began the release of many drugs we know today. Betadine was launched in 1971, and in 1977 the broad spectrum antibiotic Eryc. In 1984 Faulding acquired David Bull Laboratories and expertise to manufacture injectable anti-cancer drugs.

In 2001 Mayne Group acquired FR Faulding & Co limited.

"Faulding clearly provides a bridge between logistics and health and that was fundamental to the overall rational of the organisation we have brought together."

Today, Faulding's is a truly international pharmaceutical manufacturing company focused on Research & Development, marketing and distribution of injectable generics and specialty pharmaceuticals.

In November 2005 shareholders will vote to demerge the company into two separate companies Mayne Pharma Health and Symbion Health

Dianne Gall,

Mayne Pharma Librarian, November 2005

Mayne Group 'Connect' Feb 2002

This document has been compiled with reference to The Faulding Formula- A history of F.H. Faulding & Co Limited" by Donavan, Peter & Tweddell, Ed. 1995