The Smith Brothers were makers of cough drops.
William Wallace Smith I (1830–1913) and Andrew Smith (1836–1895) were the sons of James Smith (c1800-1866) of Poughkeepsie, New York. James' family had emigrated from Fife, Scotland, in 1831, and James had emigrated from St. Armand, Quebec in 1847.
In New York, he opened an ice cream shop called "James Smith and Son". James Smith bought a cough drop recipe from a peddler named Sly Hawkins and in 1852 he made his first batch. William and Andrew took over the business after their father died in 1866. The brand was first called "Smith Brothers Cough Drop".
In 1872, to prevent drug stores from selling generic versions, they developed their filled boxes. Andrew Smith died in 1895, and William continued as president of the company and died in 1913. William was succeeded by his son, Arthur G. Smith (c1875-1936), who continued to expand the company. He added menthol drops in 1922, cough syrup in 1926 and wild cherry drops in 1948[dubious ]. Arthur G. Smith had two sons: William Wallace Smith II (1888–1955) and Robert Lansing Smith (1891–1962).
In 1963 the brand was purchased by Warner-Lambert. The brand was bought by F & F Foods of Chicago, Illinois in 1972 and production left Poughkeepsie. In 2011 the brand was sold to GemCap, a private equity fund in Santa Monica, California. It currently operates from Chicago as the Smith Brothers Company.
- 1830 Birth of William Wallace Smith I
- 1831 Emigration from Scotland
- 1836 Birth of Andrew Smith
- 1847 Emigration from Canada to Poughkeepsie, New York
- 1852 Cough drops advertised in newspapers
- 1866 Death of James Smith
- 1870 Trademark bill defeated
- 1872 Prepackaged cough drops introduced
- 1876 Trademarks recognized
- 1877 Smith Brothers trademark registered
- 1888 William Wallace Smith II born
- 1891 Birth of Robert Lansing Smith
- 1894 Death of Andrew Smith
- 1913 Death of William Wallace Smith I
- 1922 Menthol drops introduced
- 1926 Cough syrup introduced
- 1936 Death of Arthur G. Smith
- 1948 Wild cherry drops introduced
- 1955 Death of William Wallace Smith II
- 1962 Death of Robert Lansing Smith
- 1964 Brand is sold to Warner-Lambert
- 1977 Manufacturing moved to Chicago, Illinois
- Time magazine. September 24, 1934.
- "Died". Time magazine. March 14, 1955. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "The Brothers Move On". Time magazine. February 21, 1964. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "Morris Fox, Pharmacist, 102". Associated Press in the New York Times. October 1, 1989. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Sweet Aquisitions [sic]". F & F Foods. Retrieved 2011-11-16.