This Day In History: March 6

Kaid Nickl, Reporter

On March 6th, 2016, Friedrich Bayer & Co. patented the most common household drug today: aspirin. Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, was originally made from chemicals found in the bark of willow trees. The first people to use a primitive form of the painkiller were the Greeks. Hippocrates used it to relieve pain and fevers. After that, it was well-known among doctors in the late 19th century, but sparingly used due to the bad taste and tendency to hurt the stomach.

However, a Bayer employee by the name of Felix Hoffman found a more stable and pleasant form of aspirin that was easier on the body and didn’t have such as a bitter taste. After gaining the patent rights, Hoffman began distributing the new and improved aspirin to doctors in a powdered form and was given to patients one gram at a time.

Eventually, aspirin was made available in tablets and without a prescription in 1915. People lauded the drug for it’s painkilling abilities without major side effects. Aspirin was and still is an important medicinal tool for people today.