Robert Pauli Scherer
Robert Pauli Scherer (1906-1960) was a native of Detroit and a graduate of Detroit's public schools. In 1930, at the age of twenty-four, he invented the rotary die encapsulation machine in a workshop located in the basement of this structure. The building was then the home of his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Otto Scherer. R.P. Scherer's invention transformed the production of soft gelatin capsules used in the pharmaceutical industry into a commercial process that helped raise worldwide health and nutritional standards. In 1933, he founded the present-day R.P. Scherer Corporation. With eighteen plants in twelve countries, the firm was the world's largest manufacturer of soft gelatin capsules in 1984. An ingenious inventor, Scherer received fifty-two patents during his lifetime. His experimental machine was placed in the Smithsonian Institution in 1955.