Back to MapBack to Map Visit

Tracing our history back to America’s dairy land

In the era before refrigeration and pasteurization, drinking milk could be a risky business. Though its dietary benefits were well known, so was its potential to carry contaminats (especially Tuberculoisis bacteria) - or rapidly spoil. GSK helped play a role in changing that when pharmacist William Horlick and his brother James set out to make a safer dairy food

Our GSK history reminds us of brothers William and James Horlick. William had developed a vacuum process which produced the first stable dried malt product, which when mixed with milk became a dietary supplement drink. In 1882, in their lab in Racine, the brothers successfully perfected and patented the process of purifying and drying milk along with the malt, making a product that would not easily spoil because it could be mixed with water for an instant drink.

Although it was initially marketed as a baby food, it quickly gained popularity among adult consumers, including explorers and soldiers who found it ideally portable. The legacy of James and William Horlick and the company they founded in Wisconsin is still celebrated by GSK today.