YRPHeader2013fullrounded

Friday, March 6th, 2015
Current Time 5:57:19am

History.com - This Day in History - Lead Story

This Day in History content from History.com for Lead Story
  1. March 06, 1899: Bayer patents aspirin

    On this day in 1899, the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin registers Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, on behalf of the German pharmaceutical company Friedrich Bayer & Co.

    Now the most common drug in household medicine cabinets, acetylsalicylic acid was originally made from a chemical found in the bark of willow trees. In its primitive form, the active ingredient, salicin, was used for centuries in folk medicine, beginning in ancient Greece when Hippocrates used it to relieve pain and fever. Known to doctors since the mid-19thcentury, it was used sparingly due to its unpleasant taste and tendency to damage the stomach.

    In 1897, Bayer employee Felix Hoffman found a way to create a stable form of the drug that was easier and more pleasant to take. (Some evidence shows that Hoffman’s work was really done by a Jewish chemist, Arthur Eichengrun, whose contributions were covered up during the Nazi era.) After obtaining the patent rights, Bayer began distributing aspirin in powder form to physicians to give to their patients one gram at a time. The brand name came from “a” for acetyl, “spir” from the spirea plant (a source of salicin) and the suffix “in,” commonly used for medications. It quickly became the number-one drug worldwide.

    Aspirin was made available in tablet form and without a prescription in 1915. Two years later, when Bayer’s patent expired during the First World War, the company lost the trademark rights to aspirin in various countries. After the United States entered the war against Germany in April 1917, the Alien Property Custodian, a government agency that administers foreign property, seized Bayer’s U.S. assets. Two years later, the Bayer company name and trademarks for the United States and Canada were auctioned off and purchased by Sterling Products Company, later Sterling Winthrop, for $5.3 million.

    Bayer became part of IG Farben, the conglomerate of German chemical industries that formed the financial heart of the Nazi regime. After World War II, the Allies split apart IG Farben, and Bayer again emerged as an individual company. Its purchase of Miles Laboratories in 1978 gave it a product line including Alka-Seltzer and Flintstones and One-A-Day Vitamins. In 1994, Bayer bought Sterling Winthrop’s over-the-counter business, gaining back rights to the Bayer name and logo and allowing the company once again to profit from American sales of its most famous product.

  • Facebook Links
  • Twitter Feeds
  • Free Text Alerts

Follow us on Twitter!

AVC News - Daily Local Headlines and Alerts

AVC Sports - Local HS Sports Scores

Get Text Message Local News Alerts and Local HS Sports  Scores on Your Cell Phone!

YourRadioPlace.com will alert you to the latest breaking LOCAL news, weather school closings and local HS sports scores for all the games we broadcast via Text Messages to your cell phone or PDA! Sign up now for this FREE service! (Message and Data Rates May Apply - See details under read more link)

AVC Local News Alerts:   Text keyword: AVCNEWS to 41411
Local HS Sports Scores:  Text keyword: AVCSPORTS to 41411

Message and data rates may apply. To Opt-out text STOP to 41411. For more information text HELP to 41411.

Recently Added Articles...