Abbott Laboratories was founded by Wallace C. Abbott in 1888 as the Abbott Alkaloidal Company. At the time he was 30 years old and an 1885 graduate of the University of Michigan who was a practicing doctor and owner of a drug store. His innovation was a tiny pill made of the active part of a medicinal plant that allowed for more effective and and consistent dosages for patients.
Abbott opened his first international office in 1931 in Canada.
In 1962 they entered into a joint partnership with Dainippon Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. The same year, they also expanded to Italy, England, and France.
In 1985 Abbott developed the first HIV blood-screening test.
In 2004 they spun off their hospital products division into the new company Hospira. The same year they acquired TheraSense, which merged with MediSense to become Abbott Diabetes Care.
In 2007 they acquired Advanced Medical Optics, which gave Abbott a Vision Eye Care division.
Today Abbott Laboratories is a global pharmaceuticals and health care products company with 90,000 employees in 130 countries. Their broad range of medical tests and diagnostic instruments are used worldwide by hospitals, physicians, blood banks, and laboratories. Their revenue for 2010 was $38.851 billion.