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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Got a Headache?

This Day in History: March 6, 1899

An original bottle of Bayer aspirin
manufactured and distributed in powder form
by Bayer in Germany beginning in 1899.
(Bayer/AP)
Where would we be without aspirin? In the past 115 years, it has become a household word, in fact, the most common drug in household medicine cabinets. A miracle drug. It can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. It works a mean cure on headaches. And now, aspirin, that tiny, common pill may reduce the risk of dying in certain cancers.

Uses of acetylsalicyic acid, the chemical name for aspirin, find its way back before the 19th century in folk medicine. The leaves and bark of the willow tree contain a substance called salicin, a naturally occurring compound similar to acetylsalicylic acid. In Greece, circa 400BC, Hippocrates gave women willow leaf tea to relieve the pain of childbirth.

Chemist Dr Felix Hoffmann developed Aspirin for
German pharmaceutical company Bayer in 1897
Photograph: Aspirin Magazine
In Germany in 1897, Bayer's Felix Hoffmann develops a process for synthesizing aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid. On March 6, 1899, Bayer patents aspirin. After obtaining the patent rights, Bayer began distributing aspirin in powder form to physicians who gave it to their patients one gram at a time. It quickly became the number one drug worldwide!

Check out these cool early advertisements for Bayer aspirin!

Bayer Aspirin Ad 1917

Bayer Aspirin Ad 1949

 
Bayer Aspirin Ad 1950s

Bayer Aspirin Ad 1962
 Bayer Works Wonders!