Skip to main content

John C. Sheehan Collection of Chemical Advertisements

Identifier: 1984-006

Scope and Content

This collection consists of twenty-four illustrated color postcards advertising the products and services of the Eastman Organic Chemicals Department (Division of the Eastman Kodak Company). Dating from the 1950s and 1960s, the postcards feature cartoon depictions of humorous laboratory scenes captioned with such taglines as "It's better to get it from Eastman;" "Maybe Eastman has a better method" and "Have You Tried Eastman?" Each postcard is postmarked from Rochester, NY and includes a brief summary of Eastman's available stock of chemical compounds as they pertain to the "chemical businessman." The advertisements were collected by John C. Sheehan during his tenure at the E.R. Squibb Research and Development Laboratories in New Brunswick, NJ and serve as an engaging visual record of mid-century advertising from a significant American company.


  • Creation: 1950s-1960s


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To obtain reproduction and copyright information, contact

Background Note

John Clark Sheehan was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on September 23, 1915. Sheehan studied chemistry and political science at Battle Creek College and subsequently earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1941. After receiving his Ph.D., Sheehan worked as a senior research chemist at Merck & Co. in Rahway, NJ under the direction of Max Tishler and was a Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1946 to 1952. Following his tenure at M.I.T., Sheehan worked in the E.R. Squibb Research and Development Laboratories in New Brunswick, NJ and served as a consultant and chairman to several Presidential Scientific Advisory Committees throughout the 1960s. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Chemical Society, Sheehan is best known for his research on synthetic penicillin, which paved the way for the development of customized forms of antibiotic capable of targeting specific bacteria. John Clark Sheehan died on March 21, 1992 in Key Biscayne, Florida.


1 Linear Feet (1 box; consisting of 24 postcards)

Language of Materials



Set of twenty-four illustrated color advertisements from the Eastman Organic Chemicals Department (Division of the Eastman Kodak Company) dating from the 1950s and 1960s.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of John C. Sheehan, 1984.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Sheehan, John C. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1984. Accession number--Old accession 84:06.

Digitized Materials

The entirety of this collection has been digitized and is available online in our Digital Collections:


Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 09-2023: Digitized Materials note added.

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
215.873.5265 (Fax)