For most of the company history, it was common practice for
Upjohn employees to bring back soil, plant and seed samples
from the places that they vacationed at in the US and in
other countries. The research department hoped to isolate
substances that could be medically beneficial and possibly
become new Upjohn products. This article in the May 1962
Upjohn News issue states how soil sampling kits will be
available to any employee to use on their summer vacation.
Microorganisms in soil produce antibiotics and Upjohn had so
much experience with antibiotics at that time they could
quite easily evaluate and grow new ones. When I started at the
company in 1980 this program had been discontinued.