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The FDA celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Pure Food and Drugs Act with a series of commemorative events and publications throughout 2006.

This page shows a sampling of images from the FDA's first 100 years, illustrating the agency's origins and the breadth of the FDA's responsibilities.

Click on each image to learn more.

Alternate text page to read detail descriptions of historical photos on this page FDA Centennial 1906 - 2006, Images from the first 100 yearsIn 1902, Dr. Harvey Wiley, Chief of the Bureau of Chemistry, and other volunteers from the Department of Agriculture dubbed the "Poison Squad" volunteer to eat food laced with potentially toxic preservatives.

FDA investigator Debra DeVlieger checks fish in Alaska for oil contamination after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound in March 1989. 

In 1985, FDA scientist Dr. Charles Roberts checks a recently approved test kit for screening blood donations for the virus that causes AIDS.

FDA officials Albert A. Wauset (left) and Dale C. Miller employ Geiger counters to measure radiation levels in tuna in the mid-1950s, following atomic weapon testing in the Pacific.

FDA medical officer Frances Kelsey receives the President's Distinguished Federal Civilian Service Award in 1962 from President John F. Kennedy, recognizing her role in keeping the birth defect-causing drug thalidomide out of the United States.

Dr. Harvey Wiley in his laboratory. Wiley was Chief Chemist of the Bureau of Chemistry from 1883 to 1912.

FDA consumer safety officers A. Dean Cook and Matthew Henciak taking a sample from warehouse for further test and evaluation in a 1991 inspection at the Port of Baltimore.

Dr. Harvey Wiley, chief of the Division of Chemistry, and his staff in 1883. This division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture later became the FDA.

USPS stamp commemorating the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. The stamp's image is from a tax stamp used on Hunt's Remedy, a nostrum marketed at the time of the 1906 Act.