In 1869, after working for drugstores in Greencastle and Indianapolis, Indiana, Lilly became a partner in a Paris, Illinois, drugstore with James W. Binford. Although the drugstore was profitable, Lilly was more interested in medicinal manufacturing than running a pharmacy. He began formulating plans to create a company of his own. Lilly left the partnership with Binford in 1873 and returned to Indianapolis. Lilly opened a drug manufacturing operation called Johnston and Lilly with John F. Johnston as his partner in 1874, but dissolved the failing partnership on March 27, 1876. Lilly used his share of the assets, which amounted to an estimated $400 in merchandise (several pieces of equipment and a few gallons of unmixed chemicals) and about $1,000 in cash, to open his own pharmaceutical manufacturing business in Indianapolis in May 1876. His new business venture became Eli Lilly and Company.