Story Behind Inventors and Inventions Aspirin

About the origins, history and story behind the scenes of the inventor and invention of Aspirin.

Extraordinary Stories behind Ordinary Objects That Had to Be Invented by Someone

Invention: Aspirin

Inventor: Karl Gerhardt, Germany

Year: 1853

How Invented:

Aspirin, the most common pain reliever known today, was first produced commercially in 1899. The Bayer AG, now of Leverkusen, Germany, manufactured Aspirin in powder form. Aspirin (a trade name), or acetylsalicylic acid, however, had first been synthesized in 1853 by Karl Gerhardt, an Alsatian chemist. Unfortunately, its value as a pain reliever was not recognized until 1899, when Heinrich Dresser published a paper about its effectiveness. Thereafter, Dr. Felix Hoffman, who worked for Bayer, succeeded in manufacturing it in a form pure enough to be used as a medical remedy. First available only on a limited scale as a prescription medicine in Germany, Aspirin gained wide usage when Bayer began retailing it in tablet form in 1915.

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