Articles

The Miracle Factory that began in a Stable

JUNE CALLWOOD October 1 1955
Articles

The Miracle Factory that began in a Stable

JUNE CALLWOOD October 1 1955

DURING the height of the Salk polio vaccine panic in the United States last spring, when the vaccination of school children was halted because insufficiently tested vaccine had infected dozens of children with paralytic polio, Oregon’s Senator Richard Neuberger snapped: “The Eisenhower administration could learn a lot from our neighbors in Canada.”

Because their vaccination program had not foundered like the Americans’, Canadians were taking a personal pride in the quality of Canadian-made vaccine. “All ten provinces,” federal Minister of Health Paul Martin notified newspapers, “agree to go on with the program as if nothing had happened.” A few weeks later, eight hundred and eighty thousand children of six, seven and eight years of age had been vaccinated; none were infected by the vaccine.

This risk-free vaccine, as most Canadians came to know, was another product of the University of Toronto’s Connaught Medical Research Laboratories, a hybrid that is part factory, part research laboratory and part school for public-health administrators. The labs are housed in thirty-two buildings in Toronto, ranging from soot-blackened Victorian to pink-bricked modern, and at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Connaught Labs not only produced all the Salk vaccine distributed in Canadian schools this year but also prepared all the polio virus used in 1954 in Dr. Jonas Salk’s massive field trial of half a million children in the United States, Canada and Finland. During the trial, unlike the subsequent vaccination program, no children were infected by the vaccine.

Connaught also manufactures eighty-three other products, including all of Canada’s insulin, at the lowest price on this continent; almost all of the country’s veterinarian products; a large part of the medications that protect against whooping cough, smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, rabies, typhoid and measles; almost all of the country’s glandular products used in the treatment of pernicious anemia, Addison’s disease and arthritis; a large part of the estimated six tons of penicillin used every year in Canada. In addition, all the processed human blood in Canada is broken into its components by Connaught and shipped, free, to hospitals to be used for the treatment of shock, hemorrhage and some diseases. During World War II and the war in Korea, Connaught turned out dried blood serum for the treatment of shock, and the labs have a better product ready should there be another war.

Connaught has scored some distinguished firsts: first in the world to make insulin, discovered at the University of Toronto by Banting and Best to grant life to diabetics; first in the world with a commercial heparin, the anti-clotting agent that made possible modern surgery’s “miracle” heart operations; first in the world to conduct a documented field trial of a new immunity preparation (diphtheria toxoid on Toronto school children from 1927 to 1932); first in North America to make diphtheria toxoid, penicillin and combined antigens. The last is a single solution that provides immunity to two or more diseases.

The labs were founded forty-one years ago by a visionary named J. G. FitzGerald, a dynamic professor at the University of Toronto Medical School, who lived to see his vision become a reality. Dr. FitzGerald wanted Canadians to have doctors trained in preventive medicine, he wanted vaccines and toxoids to be made cheaply and distributed free by governments, and he wanted intense research on more and better preventive medicine. Before he died fifteen years ago, his Connaught Labs had achieved all three goals.

In addition to its medical factory, Connaught combines the functions of teaching and research. The labs are part of the University of Toronto, ruled by a committee of the Board of Governors and supported by manufacturing profits and by grants and bequests. The labs are so intertwined with the University’s School of Hygiene, where about six hundred doctors have received postgraduate training in public health, that its scientists double as professors and classrooms are next door to incubator rooms where cancer cells multiply endlessly in flasks.

Last year Connaught had sixty-six research projects in progress at a cost of five hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, more than half of which was obtained from the sale of products. The rest of the necessary funds are obtained from grants from such groups as t he National Research Council, health departments, the J. P. Bickell Foundation and the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

Much of Connaught’s research is continuous on all its preparations in order to improve the methods of manufacture and the effectiveness of the product. Most projects commit the researchers, of whom Connaught has more than seventy, to months and years of patiently adding and changing ingredients. Most advances are but small fringe skirmishes but Connaught has won some major battles. Its contribution to polio vaccine is of such magnitude.

The story of medicine’s triumph over polio begins in 1789 when a British doctor first described the disease. A century and a half later the problem had been narrowed down to a method of arming a human’s bloodstream against the attack of the polio virus. Some scientists showed the value of gamma globulin, a component of blood that protects against infection, and massive amounts of this were prepared by Connaught, but the immunity thus provided was found to be only temporary. Other scientists were on a hotter trail: polio vaccine, similar in principle to diphtheria toxoid. The first step was to grow the virus outside a living body. Dr. John Enders, of Harvard, in 1949 succeeded in growing polio in a test tube by planting the virus on human embryonic tissue in a nourishing fluid of serum from horse blood.

The next significant experiment in the chain occurred in 1951 in Toronto. Dr. Andrew J. Rhodes, head of Connaught’s polio research team for seven years before he left to become research director at the Hospital for Sick Children, borrowed a fluid intended for cancer research—synthetic Medium 199, a discovery of a research team headed by Dr. Raymond Parker and under the sponsorship of the National Cancer Institute of Canada. Medium 199 is a composition of sixty chemicals that partially duplicate the life-supporting qualities of blood. Rhodes used this composition in place of the horse serum and grew polio virus on monkey kidney tissue. This is how polio virus is still grown in the preparation of vaccine.

Parker began receiving requests for his discovery from all over the world and Connaught sent it out free of charge for several years until it became, as Parker says, “too expensive a philanthropy.” Among the avalanche of requests was one from Dr. Jonas E. Salk who was working on polio research at the University of Pittsburgh. Like Rhodes—of Rhodes’ work—Salk had confirmed that polio virus could he grown on monkey tissue but in his experiments he was using horse serum which was unsuitable in vaccine.

Salk received his shipment from Connaught labs in 1953. Quickly he found that he could kill the polio virus by the use of formaldehyde in Medium 199, and injected the resultant vaccine into his wife, their three sons and two hundred school children in the Pittsburgh area. "The use of 199 in the vaccine,” Salk said recently, "is an example of the international aspect of science—it advanced the problem substantially.”

The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in the U. S. moved decisively in the wake of Salk’s brave demonstration. Labs all over North America were assigned roles in the preparation of enough vaccine for a three-nation field trial of half a million children, to be conducted the following spring. It requested the Labs to grow all the virus that would be needed and spent $556,000 for this purpose.

Two major pharmaceutical houses in the United States had been assigned by the foundation to manufacture polio vaccine. Each week station wagons left Connaught with a cargo of live polio virus, hustled through customs by uncomfortable inspectors. In the event of an accident on the highway, the drivers of the station wagons were equipped with cans of gasoline with which to set afire the car and contents. Every lethal load, however, arrived safely.

The field trial was pronounced a success in April this year. While the vaccine was not perfect, it proved to be about eighty percent effective, and many authorities believe it assures that the other twenty percent will have only mild cases of polio.

When the inoculations began this spring in the U. S. and Canada, more than fifty children in the U. S., injected with American-made vaccine, contracted severe and, in many cases, fatal polio from the vaccine itself. There were no cases of infection from the Canadian-made product. In the United States, because of halts in the program and insufficient preparation, only two and a half million of the six and a half million children inoculated received second shots; in Canada, all of the eight hundred and eighty thousand children inoculated received two shots. There was another, less important, difference. A double dose of Salk vaccine cost Canadians about one dollar; it cost Americans between three and four dollars.

There were several reasons for the smoothness of the Canadian program: Canadian vaccine is double-checked, once by Connaught and once by the federal health department’s laboratory in Ottawa. (The Ottawa laboratory rejected enough vaccine to have inoculated four hundred thousand children.) American vaccine doesn’t receive this extra check; because of the quantity that must be produced to fill U. S. needs, it is reckoned that there would be a two-year delay in distribution it a second check were made.

Another important difference was that Canada’s federal Health Minister Paul Martin and the provincial departments of health had anticipated the success of the vaccine and the program of distribution had been established six months before the April announcement. Washington, critics say, was unprepared.

The difference in price has been explained by the fact that Connaught has very low operating costs and no selling expense. U. S. commercial houses, with a heavy investment in new equipment, are anxious to recover their outlay. Then, too, the U. S. firms provide a large budget for sales promotion.

The Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene at the University of Montreal, patterned after Connaught to supply the health requirements of Quebec, begins to produce polio vaccine this winter to assist in the project next spring to immunize three million school children. The cost of the vaccine, split by provincial and federal departments of health, is expected to drop still lower.

Meanwhile, Raymond Parker continues to develop new media of the Medium 199 sort at the rate of one or two a week in order to obtain a near-perfect solution for cancer research. Working with chemist George M. Healy, Parker reached Medium 969 on a hot afternoon last July and planted in it cancer cells descended from a mouse that died in 1940.

Pondering on the importance of Connaught’s contribution to the evolution of polio vaccine, a young researcher leaned across the lunch table a few weeks ago and addressed Dr. Robert D. Defries, who retires this month after serving fifteen years as director of the Connaught Labs. “Isn’t it possible,” he said, "that Connaught might have developed polio vaccine all by itself and given it to the world?”

"Certainly not,” replied Defries. "We could have developed a vaccine all right, but I wonder who among us would have had the courage to inject it into our sons.” He looked around the table. No one spoke. "Exactly,” he said.

Some of the scientists who came to Connaught in their youth, as Defries did forty-one years ago, have wondered if the founder of the labs, J. G. FitzGerald, would not have been such a man.

FitzGerald, called Gerry by his friends, died a legend in 1940. He had graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School, an intense, restless redhead, at twenty. He practiced for only a year and then, shocked by the misery of disease, went back to school to study psychiatry at Harvard. He began, decades before his time, to think of prevention rather than treatment. He switched to bacteriology, married and took his wife to Europe where he could study about vaccines and antitoxins.

In 1906, at twenty-three, he was assistant professor of bacteriology at the University of California, pouring out a stream of reports to medical journals. One of them was titled, Preventive Medicine in Relation to Psychiatry and pleaded, "Let us switch the emphasis from curative to preventative.” In 1912 the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine opened a new department and named it Hygiene and Preventive Medicine. Dr. John A. Amyot was the first professor and Gerry FitzGerald, at thirty, came home to be his assistant.

FitzGerald had been burning for many years with a crusade that had no shape or name. He wanted vaccines and antitoxins to be distributed free. He wanted governments to hire doctors whose main preoccupation would be the prevention of illness. "I’m married to an idea, not a man,” his wife used to complain.

FitzGerald found that the killer diphtheria was virtually unchecked in Canada. In the years between 1911 and 1915, it averaged twenty-five hundred cases a year, four hundred of them fatal. Only the well-to-do could afford treatment with diphtheria antitoxin, which had to be imported from the United States and cost from twenty to eighty dollars to treat a single case.

"I’ll make diphtheria antitoxin right here,” FitzGerald announced a few months after his arrival. "If I make it cheaply enough the provincial government can buy it and distribute it where needed free of charge.”

There was no precedent in the world for a university opening a branch pharmaceutical house and FitzGerald’s decision, in spite of his passionate Irish rhetoric, met a hesitant response. FitzGerald had been waiting, through three branches of medicine—general practice, psychiatry and bacteriology —to find direction for his daydreams; he could wait no longer. He borrowed a few hundred dollars from his wife’s inheritance and built a stable on Barton Avenue, a frame structure covered with sheets of corrugated metal and big enough for five horses and a small operating room. He bought five aged horses, the first of which was named Crestfallen and cost three dollars complete with halter, and prepared to make diphtheria antitoxin.

Why a Horse in the Lab?

Diphtheria is caused by bacteria that settle in the throat and pour out poison, or toxin. To produce diphtheria antitoxin, this poison is injected in minute quantity into the bloodstream of a horse, causing the horse’s body to form substances—known as antibodies—to fight off the invading poison. The next injection contains more toxin, which produces more antibodies in the horse’s blood. Eventually, after about four months of injections, the horse can tolerate without discomfort an injection strong enough to kill a thousand horses; his blood is hyperimmunized. This blood, drawn off in small quantities at regular intervals, is treated to become diphtheria antitoxin. When it is injected into a human suffering from diphtheria it bolsters the victim’s feebly developing antibodies and results in a cure. Antitoxin is used in the treatment of diphtheria; diphtheria toxoid, developed in 1924, is used to prevent the disease.

FitzGerald had his five horses hyperimmunized when a member of the Board of Governors of the university, Sir Edmund Osler, became interested in the project and offered to meet any deficit out of his personal funds. This endorsement led to the university’s voting approval of FitzGerald’s work and in 1914 he was given lab space in the sub-basement of the Medical Building. A few months later Canada was involved in World War I. FitzGerald volunteered and was attached for duty in Toronto, to continue teaching preventive medicine.

The Canadian Red Cross at that time needed tetanus antitoxin to prevent lockjaw which was striking the wounded of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The antitoxin wasn’t made in Canada and a single dose imported from the U. S. cost $1.35.

Col. Sir Albert E. Gooderham, chairman of the Ontario Division of the Canadian Red Cross Society, heard of FitzGerald’s antitoxin laboratory. "Where will I find Dr. J. G. FitzGerald?” he enquired grandly at the Medical Building. "In the basement, as usual,” he was told.

FitzGerald agreed instantly to prepare tetanus antitoxin at cost, but he needed more space. Sir Albert, eyeing the small, damp and dark quarters where FitzGerald worked with the assistance of his wife, then pregnant, and his sister who had taken a quick course in bacteriology, agreed. Sir Albert bought fifty-seven acres twelve miles north of the university campus. There he built, in semi-Spanish style, two stucco buildings—one a laboratory and the other a superintendent’s home. The gift, which cost him one hundred thousand dollars, was officially opened on Oct. 25, 1917, and named—at the request of Sir Albert—Connaught Laboratories in honor of the Duke of Connaught, who was governor-general when the buildings were begun. The name is pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable.

Strolling proudly through the new grounds with FitzGerald one afternoon was his assistant, Dr. Robert D. Defries. Defries, then a lean, quiet twenty-five-year-old, came to help with the tetanus antitoxin program but he explained he wanted to be a medical missionary.

"Bobby,” FitzGerald grinned, "you can do that later. Just now I need you badly.”

It was a need that was to last a lifetime. The two were a fine balance, FitzGerald a reckless plunger and Defries a prudent administrator. When FitzGerald died, worn down by his ferocious energy, Defries became director.

By the end of World War I the new Connaught Labs had delivered a quarter of a million doses of tetanus antitoxin to the armed forces at a cost of thirty four cents a dose. The labs, some of them located in coal bunkers in the basement of the Medical Building, also turned out a million doses of smallpox vaccine and a quantity of serum for the treatment of epidemic meningitis. The same preparations were also being sold, at cost, to provincial departments of health for free distribution.

In 1921 two young men, Fred Banting and Charles Best, succeeded in developing insulin in their University of Toronto laboratories. The following January, their discovery saved a boy dying of diabetes. With this proof of its effectiveness, a large-scale production of insulin was the next step and it seemed natural to use the nearest facilities, the university’s own Connaught Labs. Production began in a small brick building, the former university YMCA. The need was so desperate that the insulin was rushed across the street to hospital patients as quickly as it was prepared.

Today Connaught supplies not only all of Canada’s forty thousand diabetics with insulin but exports to the West Indies, South America and Japan. Canadians buy insulin at the world’s lowest price (recently matched in Europe) because the packing houses in this country take only a slight profit on the million pounds of beef and pork pancreas used every year in the manufacture of the drug and druggists accept a smaller markup on insulin than on most medical products. Connaught itself takes a profit insufficient to meet the needs of insulin research. Chemist Dr. D. A. Scott who discovered a method of preparing insulin crystals in 1928 has made the study of insulin his life’s work.

The insulin plant is located in part of the School of Hygiene Building, known as the College Division of Connaught. It occupies three floors, extending to a sub-basement, connected by narrow circular steel stairways. The process works downward: On the top floor is the machine grinding animal pancreas, which flows like molten cooked liver into glass-lined tanks of acid alcohol on the floor below. The murky material is filtered, centrifuged and dried, becoming lighter and lighter in color until the final product, a white flour-textured powder, is put into sterile solution and bottled for distribution to hospitals and druggists. Connaught obtains about three quarters of a pint of insulin from three tons of pancreas. The waste is made into fertilizer and dog food. To test the potency of its insulin Connaught uses three thousand white mice every two weeks.

Since it regards the production of insulin as a trust, Connaught has taken elaborate precautions to ensure that no emergency will leave Canadian diabetics without their life line. A year’s supply of pancreas is kept in deep freeze and a two years’ supply of finished insulin is kept under refrigeration. Until Connaught decided refrigeration was advisable for insulin, the emergency supplies were stored in downtown Toronto bank vaults.

Connaught, in fact, has emergency supplies of most of its products. In time of threatened floods the labs ship as much as a million doses of typhoid and paratyphoid vaccine. In 1954, when an epidemic of hydrophobia was beginning in the Arctic and the Northwest Territories, thousands of doses of rabies vaccine were sent. If a case of smallpox ever turns up in Canada, as it did a few years ago in New York City, Connaught has a million doses of vaccine ready to prevent a plague.

A few years after Connaught had begun production of insulin, FitzGerald heard of a discovery by Ramon, a brilliant scientist in the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Ramon had converted deadly diphtheria toxin into a harmless preparation, which he called anatoxin, that gave humans protection against diphtheria. FitzGerald moved with jubilant speed and, under the supervision of a young chemist, Dr. P. J. Moloney, Connaught became the first lab in North America to make diphtheria toxoid.

Moloney needed a demonstration of the effectiveness of the toxoid. Dr. N. E. McKinnon and Dr. Mary A. Ross got him the proof by keeping records of the world’s first documented field trial. Between 1927 and 1932, forty-six thousand Toronto school children received diphtheria toxoid and in 1933 it was reported that the incidence of diphtheria among the inoculated children was one tenth that of the non-inoculated. Shipments of toxoid were then made to every province. Moloney, honored a few years ago with an OBE, is still at Connaught and still works at diphtheria toxoid research.

In 1932 Dr. P. A. T. Sneath prepared Canada’s first tetanus toxoid. By this time Connaught had handsome new quarters. The Rockefeller Foundation had launched in the late Twenties a world health program which included the establishment of schools to train doctors in public health. One was built and endowed in London, England, another in Calcutta, one in the Philippines, one at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, and the fifth at the University of Toronto. The endowment and the building grants for Toronto’s School of Hygiene amounted to one and a quarter million dollars. It was agreed that Connaught would provide the funds for an extension to the school building. These funds had been accumulated for the support of research. In turn, the Government of Ontario provided an annual grant equal to the amount of interest which these funds would have provided for research.

The six-story two-hundred-room school comfortably accommodates students and about thirty of Connaught’s scientists, though in emergencies the wide brick-walled corridors have been used as labs. Every year about a thousand students study preventive medicine—some of them nurses, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, or engineers taking postgraduate training to fit them for appointments in public health.

In 1935 the University of British Columbia needed a professor of bacteriology. Connaught Labs created a Western Division at Vancouver, headed by Dr. C. E. Dolman who also headed the bacteriology department. The move helped UBC, which at the time was unable to afford a new professor’s salary, and mended some political fences for Connaught. A rebellious rumble in the western provinces against the University of Toronto’s so-called monopoly of research and production was squelched. During the past twenty years the Western Division has been occupied almost entirely with the problems of food poisoning and other bacterial diseases.

In 1940 Connaught Labs added a new field to its program—veterinary medicine. Working with the Ontario Veterinary College, the labs now prepare forty-one veterinary products and have eleven research projects in progress under the direction of Dr. J. F. Crawley.

In that same year—1940—Connaught Labs suffered a severe loss. FitzGerald died at fifty-seven. "He suffered a mental breakdown the year before he died,” says his widow, "and then a physical breakdown. He simply wore out.”

Defries took over as director at a time when Connaught was beginning its greatest period of expansion. Through World War II the labs abandoned peacetime projects and concentrated on methods of mass-producing serums, vaccines, toxoids and antitoxins for the armed forces. The number of employees rose from two hundred and fifty-two to about nine hundred.

A “D” Made the Difference

Under Dr. James Craigie, the labs developed and improved on known methods of growing typhus rickettsiae in order to produce ten million doses of typhus vaccine, unknown before 1942. The vaccine, coupled with delousing by DDT, wiped out the menace of typhus fever. To cut down the number of inoculations Connaught copied a French army innovation and combined typhoid vaccine, paratyphoid vaccine and tetanus toxoid in a single injection. The mixture, called TABT—and irreverently remembered by hundreds of thousands of Canadian servicemen—was for some years considered Connaught’s most significant contribution to the war effort. Ten years after the war ended Connaught added diphtheria toxoid to the combination and called it TABTD. The original combined antigen was the first in North America.

Throughout the war Canadian citizens through the Canadian Red Cross made two and a quarter million donations of blood; Connaught processed two million of the total to make dried serum for the treatment of shock. The labs worked day and night and processed almost half a million bottles of dried serum.

A major drawback against the future use of dried blood serum is that it can contain undetectable infections of jaundice. About seven percent of the U. S. soldiers in Korea who received plasma became ill with jaundice; the percentage among Canadian troops was lower, for an unknown reason. To eliminate this danger a new science has come into being: blood fractionation. Blood donations received by the Canadian Red Cross Society that are not used within three weeks by Canadian hospitals are sent to Connaught to be broken into three components, the process called fractionation.

Connaught allows the blood to clot and throws away the clot. The remainder, a yellow to pink fluid, is broken into three parts: gamma globulin, which contains the blood’s anti-bodies; fribrinogen, which causes blood to clot and is used to stop hemorrhages; and albumen which is now used in the treatment of shock. Scientists are as positive as their inherent caution will permit that no jaundice infection can be transferred by albumen. In the next war, shock may be treated with albumen or with a sugar-derivative synthetic called dextran. Connaught is equipped to turn out huge quantities of either.

One of the most difficult contributions Connaught made to the World War II effort was its preparation of gas gangrene antitoxin. After showing no interest in gas gangrene, a bacterial infection that can be blown into a wound, the army suddenly jumped its requirements to three hundred thousand doses of antitoxin. Gas gangrene antitoxin, which luckily Dr. D. T. Fraser and Dr. Helen Plummer had studied for years, required hyper-immunized horses. In the interests of urgency. Connaught bought a thousand horses, quartered some of them in hastily erected stables at the Labs’ Dufferin Division quarters just north of Toronto and some of them in stables rented from the Hamilton Jockey Club. The antitoxin order was filled ahead of time, at a price that was half of the going rate in other countries.

In addition to influenza vaccine —which required the processing of two thousand eggs a day—cholera vaccine and anti-dysentery serum, Connaught contributed heavily to the world’s knowledge of penicillin production. In 1942 a penicillin pilot plant was built and the following year the federal government asked Connaught to make penicillin for the armed forces. A former theological school was bought for this project together with the dried blood serum project, and was renamed Spadina Division.

The Endless Puzzle

At first penicillin was grown in milk bottles placed on their sides and harvested by hand. In 1944 thirty thousand bottles were handled every day. By 1945 Connaught switched to growing the penicillin in a deep tank. This is still used. The lab now grows several hundred billion units of penicillin—about five hundred pounds—every month in six three-thousand-gallon tanks of villainous-smelling broth. In ten years the cost of penicillin has dropped from twenty dollars to less than twenty cents a dose.

In the years since the war Connaught’s scientists have turned their attention back to peacetime needs. Polio research and blood fractionation have been major concerns. One team is trying to isolate the cause of infectious hepatitis, a form of jaundice, and serum jaundice—a work handicapped because no laboratory animal can be infected. Dr. Angus Graham is tagging cancer cells with radioactive tracers, discovering by the use of a Geiger counter fundamental information about metabolic changes that occur when a virus invades cancer. Research has resulted in better production methods that have brought the cost of liver extract for the treatment of anemia down from three dollars a weekly dose to forty cents.

The scientists joke about joining a Discovery a Month Club, but there is no easy way in research. "If you want to see something accomplished every day you don’t go into research,” observes Dr. Albert Fisher, assistant director of the labs. "Most research is patiently putting together pieces of a puzzle . . .”

Out of a graduating class in a medical school of one hundred and fifty, one may go into research. "The research outlook,” explains retiring director Defries, "is patience, curiosity, excitement over new knowledge, dismay at medicine’s inability to cope with some ailments like cancer.”

Defries will remain connected with Connaught as a consultant when the new director, Dr. J. K. W. Ferguson takes over. Ferguson, former professor of pharmacology on the university’s faculty of medicine, is known as a blunt-spoken administrator. He takes over a giant that hasn’t yet reached its full growth. From FitzGerald’s frame stable worth about six hundred dollars, Connaught has grown to thirty-two buildings worth more than five million; from the original fifty-seven acres, the Dufferin Division alone has grown to one hundred and forty-five acres, on part of which a new million-dollar polio building is rising. The staff of one has grown to a staff of nearly six hundred. The livestock consisting of five horses has increased to about thirty thousand, including twenty-five hundred rhesus monkeys used in the polio program, ten thousand breeding white mice and about three thousand breeding guinea pigs. Last year Connaught packaged more than five million Containers.

FitzGerald, the founder, would marvel. Throughout his lifetime he was wracked by desperate headaches caused by the tension under which he worked.

"Slow down, Gerry,” his wife used to say. "A hundred years from now, who’ll care? It’s not that important!” His widow recently recalled her words. "I guess Gerry knew all along,” she said slowly. "A hundred years from now, people will care. It really was that important.”