Felix Hoffman: the Founder of Aspirin.

Essay by cheater_09High School, 10th gradeA+, January 2006

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Aspirin is a very important medicine and has been around since 1900 when Felix Hoffman and Friedrich Bayer and Company invented it.

Born on January 21, of 1868 in Germany Felix Hoffman studied chemistry and pharmacy at the University of Munich and obtained his Doctoral degree there in 1894. He started working for Bayer in 1894 as a chemist. Hoffman's father had extreme pain form arthritis inspiring Hoffman to find a painkiller.

Hoffman did a lot of research and study including a study on Hippocrates, a Greek physician from 400 B.C. His research showed pain medicine in that time was made from willow bark and leaves. In the 19th century chemists found that there was a substance known as salicin in the willow trees that had the power to relieve pain.

Between 1800 and 1835 chemists were able to extract the salcin and make salicylic acid, and make it into amounts for human consumption, but they found it was very hard on people's stomachs.

In 1853 a French researcher named Charles Frederic Gerhardt, found a way to neutralize the salicylic acid by adding sodium and acetyl chloride. Strangely his research stopped there and no product was developed.

In 1897, Hoffman rediscovered Gerhardt's experiments and studied them carefully. He conducted similar experiments of his own. He looked for a stable, buffered version of salicylic acid that his company would be able to commercialize on a large scale. On August 10, 1897, he succeeded with this goal. By combining acetylating salicylic acid with acetic acid, he created acetylsalicylic acid, or ASA, with the right characteristics for consumer use. The substance had the ability to relieve fever, pain and inflammation, all without upsetting the patient's stomach. Hoffman is said to have tested versions of the product on his father to find the safest...