Medicine carton containing soluble aspirin powder, c 1900.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Aspirin was first synthesised by the German chemist Felix Hoffman (1868-1946) and introduced to the medical market in 1899 as a relief against pain. It continues to be a widely used drug which is effective against many types of minor pain. Aspirin also can be useful in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Produced by F Bayer and Company of Germany.