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Definition of «Aspirin»


Aspirin: A good example of a tradename that entered into the language, Aspirin was once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid.

The first use of what became known as aspirin was by the Greek physician Hippocrates, who used powder extracted from the bark of a willow tree to treat pain and reduce fever. The bark contained salicin, a component of acetylsalicylic acid. Salicin was successfully isolated from willow bark in 1829 but it often irritated the stomach.

Two years after a young Bayer researcher, Felix Hoffman, synthesized acetylsalicylic acid, Bayer registered the trademark "aspirin" on March 6, 1899. One hundred years later to the day, Bayer celebrated this event by turning its company headquarters into the world's largest pillbox. With over 200,000 square feet of cloth, hung from scaffolding by 50 mountain climbers, Bayer transformed its 400- foot tall building into one very large Bayer aspirin carton.

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