The partnership between John Louis Needham and Frank Speir Aikman in 1912, resulted the Mahdeen Company. The Mahdeen Company manufactured and sold hair tonic called "Mahdeen for Dandruff". The formula for the tonic was obtained by Mr. Needham, a Nacogdoches barber shop operator. Mr. Aikman, a traveling salesman originally from New York, was inspired by the product to provide financial backing, leading to the partnership of the two men.
In 1918 J. L. Needham died and eventually his heirs, Conrad Needham and Mrs. Mary Tom Weyman, received even shares of his stock in the company. Between 1931-1933, three serious complaints resulting from the use of the Mahdeen product were reported. Many of the papers included in this collection relate to the complaints.
In 1939 F. S. Aikman died, and in 1941 W. A. Mize, B. H. Mize, and E. C. Best purchased The Mahdeen Company. In 1965, the company was bought by a firm in Dallas which continued to sell the Mahdeen tonic under Mahdeen Laboratories.