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Pharmacy school is home to rare eye cups

  • Thursday, March 28, 2013

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (March 29, 2013) - It wasn't long after David Landsberger moved his businesses from New Jersey to Pocomoke that he paid a visit to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and discovered a local treasure.   

    Eye wash cup donation at Somerset



    David Landsberger, right, with his family's eye wash cup collection he donated to UMES, is joined by President Juliette B. Bell and Nicholas Blanchard, dean of the pharmacy school.

    "UMES has the unique position of having all the 'ingredients' that prospective students need to put together a first-class education right here on the Eastern Shore," he said. 

    As owner of Maddak Ableware and Bel Art Products, which manufacture supplies for laboratories and health care providers, Landsberger was moved to make a contribution when he discovered the university had a pharmacy school. 

    Actually, he made two. Landsberger donated supplies for experiments and testing done in pharmacy labs. He also donated his father's collection of several hundred eye wash cups. 

    Kurt Landsberger spent years building the extensive collection while traveling around the world on business and for pleasure.  It was his desire that future generations be able to take pleasure in objects that gave him so much joy to collect.

     "Our family believes that appreciation for the past is an important part of educating for the future," David Landsberger said. "If students can see how medicine has advanced over the years, they can appreciate the future advances even more."

    Most of the cups are glass in a kaleidoscopic array of colors. Some resemble fine porcelain; a few are crafted from silver.

    "A striking, visible display of eye wash cups only underscores how far we have come," David Landsberger said.

    "The artistry and skill of the craftsmen who made these unique items is wonderful to see," he said. "Knowing that future generations of students will be able to enjoy and learn from this collection is gratifying to us."

    Eye wash cup collectionThe cups manufactured in Europe and domestically are valued from a few dollars apiece to several thousands of dollars.   

    "We are most grateful for the generous gifts made by David and his family,"said Nicholas Blanchard, Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. 

    "No other School of Pharmacy in the country has such a unique collection," Blanchard said. "Our students are very

     lucky to be exposed to this extensive a display of eye cups, some I'm sure could easily be labeled antiques.”

    “Support of donors such as the Landsberger family provides our students with a rich educational and professional experience,” he said.

    David Landsberger, who says he has gained a deep appreciation Eastern Shore life, believes strongly in public higher education. He also believes in keeping well- educated workers on the Shore. 

    “By the joint efforts of local business and industry, we can train local youth to be ready for tomorrow's challenging jobs,” he said. 

    “The perception is that young people must leave the Eastern Shore, which they grew up loving, just to earn a good living,” he said. “Through the varied programs of UMES and the success of growing businesses on the Eastern Shore, this perception is changing.”  

    The eye wash cup collection is on display in the lobby of Somerset Hall, which houses UMES' School of Pharmacy. David Landsberger has volunteered to build special shelving so it can be viewed more easily.


    Contact Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, (410) 621-2355.