Between the Lines

Remembering Frank Taplin

Corrections or additions?

This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the May 21, 2003

edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Medical Center: Expansion Proposed

That the Medical Center of Princeton could move its

major campus to a different location from downtown Princeton is a

very real possibility, says Barry Rabner, president of the Medical

Center. At a Regional Planning Board meeting on May 15, he showed

how the center’s strategic planning process revealed the need for

change and expansion. The downtown campus has just seven acres, while

new hospitals require sites from 35 to 50 acres.

Meanwhile the Medical Center has leased more than 17,000 square feet

at Princeton Pike II in Lawrenceville and plans to house some


offices there. Bob Sobol of the Acclaim Group represented the hospital

and Howard Ziff was the in-house representative for Brandywine Realty.

At a trustees meeting on Monday, June 23, Rabner will present


from both a financial advisor and architect J. Robert Hillier.

Rabner’s planning process involved nearly 175 interviews with


members, trustees, and physicians. "Everyone I have talked to

says that makes sense, that the facts support that we need to continue

to evolve and do things differently," he says.

"We are a community hospital, and we always have to have a


presence here," says Rabner. "But we will not continue to be


in the future unless the care that we provide is outstanding. People

can make choices, and they make informed decisions."

Top Of Page
Between the Lines

When we read news stories on two Princeton-based


in the field of contraception, Roderick Mackenzie and A.V.K. Reddy,

we began to wish we had done those stories. Mackenzie was featured

in a front page New York Times article on May 19, and Reddy, inventor

of innovative male and female condoms, was a subject for the Times

of Trenton on May 13. Then we found their early histories in our


Better early than never, we decided.

Mackenzie’s company, Gynetics, had the distinction of being inspired

by a Food and Drug Administration request to develop an emergency

contraceptive pill that would formalize what people were doing anyway,

taking high doses of birth control pills. "This is a


that prevents pregnancy. It will not interrupt a pregnancy,"


emphasized. (U.S. 1, June 17, 1998). Now four states have approved

the pills for dispensing by a pharmacist, which is what triggered

the New York Times coverage. Gynetics has offices in Lawrence Common.

Reddy’s plans for the Pleasure Plus condom were derailed by


(U.S. 1, December 14, 1999). Reddy’s latest condom, known for its

spiral-shaped design, is made at his factory in India and marketed

by Intellx, run by Brian Osterberg, formerly of Princeton. Now a


Reddy-made condom will be marketed by Armkel, the Church & Dwight

company that owns the Trojan brand.

Top Of Page
Remembering Frank Taplin

You do your best and you make a difference,"

was the motto of Frank E. Taplin Jr. He died on May 11 at the age

of 88, and a memorial service is set for Sunday, June 8, at 4 p.m.,

at Princeton University Chapel.

Taplin was an old-fashioned gentleman with a boyish demeanor, genial

charm, and a forward outlook. A philanthropist, musician, and


he endowed Princeton University’s Taplin Auditorium, among many other


The son of a Cleveland coal company owner, Taplin came to the


because he had fallen in love with the showbiz glamour of the Triangle

Club. Though he was a Rhodes scholar and had a law degree from Yale,

he occupied himself with leveraging the family fortune to help musical

and environmental causes (U.S. 1, November 10, 1993). He is survived

by his wife of 60 years, Margaret Eaton Sichel, the daughter of the

founder of Eaton Corporation, and together they have six children,

12 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Taplin was known as a fundraising wizard because he not only gave

money, he elicited gifts from others. Called on to save organizations

from financial ruin (his most celebrated turn-arounds were the


School of Music and the Metropolitan Opera), he also mustered major

support for such Princeton-based endeavors as the Institute for


Study and the group now known as the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.

Perhaps it was because of his zesty self confidence and adventurous

spirit that he could take risks: self publish doggerel written for

friends and family, sit in with jazz musicians on Bourbon Street,

or match his playing with the pros on a concert stage.

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