Exhibition of the Croatian Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
KAŠTEL AT ITS PEAK: ADVERTISING AND PACKAGING OF MEDICINES OF THE “KAŠTEL” FACTORY IN ZAGREB in the 1930s and 1940s
will be displayed in the Božidar Adžija Library in Zagreb from June 23 to July 31, 2021.
This study exhibition presents material from the holdings of the Croatian Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts: advertising postcards, specimens of drug packaging, medical diaries, as well as professional journals and archives from the Division of the History of Medical Sciences. These are valuable materials that are important for the history of Croatian pharmacy as evidence of the high level of promotional activities of one of the first Croatian drug factories – the Kaštel factory, which was later renamed Pliva. Their advertising in professional journals, packaging of medicines, production of promotional diaries for doctors and a series of advertising postcards, brochures and sketches for advertisements, which were graphically designed for Kaštel by the prominent Croatian designer Pavao Gavranić, were presented.
The exhibition was presented to the public for the first time in the Library of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2016, on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of Pliva.
The Kaštel factory was founded in Karlovac in 1921. The first president of the board of the Kaštel Joint Stock Company was prof. Dr. Gustav Janeček, who in cooperation with Dr. Eugen Ladany started the production of pharmaceuticals and galenic preparations, which paved the way for modern drug production in this area. A team of enthusiasts driven by values and a passion for science soon after the founding of the company Kaštel began research and development of new drugs. In 1928, production moved to its current location in Zagreb, where about 60 employees and 25 clerks were employed, 10 of whom were academically educated. Organized research began in 1936, in collaboration with Professor Vladimir Prelog from the University of Zagreb, later winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As early as 1936, Kaštel placed sulfanilamide on the market, an active medicinal substance with bacteriostatic action, under the name Streptazol, which he patented. Kaštel becomes one of the first producers of sulfonamides in the world. During 1939, the state institution PLIBAH (Production of Medicines of the Banovina of Croatia) was founded, and on June 23, 1941, this name was changed to the State Institute for the Production of Medicines Pliva (production of medicines and vaccines). In August 1945, the Kaštel factory was merged with the State Institute for the Production of Medicines Pliva – the name under which it operates from 1945 until today. During its development, Pliva has achieved magnificent results, not only in the production and marketing of its results, but also in the recognition of its products and image in general. Although the chronicles of Pliva’s history were kept in continuity, surprisingly little attention was paid to the development and design processes of Pliva‘s advertising material and objects, messages and campaigns. Therefore, the promotional material of the products of the early Zagreb phase of Kaštel‘s production stored in the Croatian Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts can serve as evidence of Kaštel‘s early enthusiasm and initial production successes on the market, but also investment in their visual presentation to the general public. These promotional materials are an important indicator of the beginning of design and promotion and form a valuable starting point in knowing the totality of Pliva and the national industrial heritage.
This year, Pliva is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its work, and by setting up the exhibition Kaštel at its peak in the Božidar Adžija Library, we are joining the celebration of this significant jubilee.
PROJECT HOLDERS: Croatian Museum of Medicine and Pharmacy HAZU; Academician Marko Pećina, Head of the Museum; prof. dr. sc. Stella Fatović-Ferenčić, MD, Deputy Head of the Museum; Silvija Brkić Midžić, prof., Museum advisor, museum manager
EXHIBITION CO-ORGANIZER: Božidar Adžija Library, KGZ; Vesna Lovrić Cvjetković
EXHIBITION CONCEPT, SELECTION OF EXHIBITS AND CATALOG ENTRIES: Silvija Brkić Midžić
AUTHORS OF TEXTS AT THE EXHIBITION AND IN THE CATALOG: Stella Fatović-Ferenčić and Silvija Brkić Midžić
PHOTOGRAPHS: Srećko Budek
GRAPHIC DESIGN OF EXHIBITION MATERIALS AND PREPARATION FOR PRINTING: Studio Rašić, Ante Rašić, Ankica Penava Pejčinović
In the picture: Template for the advertisement of the Kaštel factory, design: Pavao Gavranić, loan from the collection of the Department of Prints and Drawings of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts