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QuickUpload1048 20170530125004.jpg
Type Public / Private
Slogan Science For A Better Life
Headquarters Leverkusen, Germany
Number of employees 115,200 people worldwide

Bayer is a German multinational chemical, pharmaceutical and life science company. In Pharmaceuticals, they focus on researching,developing and marketing specialty-focused innovative medicines that provide significant clinical benefit and value, primarily in the therapeutic areas of cardiology, oncology, gynecology, hematology and ophthalmology.


It all starts with a friendship between two men, plenty of natural curiosity and two kitchen stoves. Businessman Friedrich Bayer and dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott use these to conduct experiments and eventually discover how to make the dye fuchsine. On August 1, 1863, they found the "Friedr. Bayer et. comp." company in Wuppertal-Barmen, a 19th century startup with tremendous potential.

The company's corporate logo, the Bayer cross, was introduced in 1904.

The Early Years (1863–1881)

The general partnership "Friedr. Bayer et comp." was founded on August 1, 1863 in Barmen - now a district of the city of Wuppertal - by dye salesman Friedrich Bayer (1825–1880) and master dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott (1821–1876). The objective of the company was the manufacturing and selling of synthetic dyestuffs. The production of these dyes from coal-tar derivatives had only been invented a few years previously, opening up a new field of business for the still-young chemical industry. The target market was the textile industry, which at the time was growing rapidly in the wake of industrialization. The natural dyes that had been used until then were scarce and expensive. New inventions, such as the synthesis of the red dye alizarin, and the strong demand for tar dyes led to a boom in new foundings. Many dye factories were built at this time, but only innovative companies with their own research facilities and the ability to exploit opportunities on the international market managed to survive over the long term. Bayer was one of these companies.

Becoming an International Company (1881–1914)

Between 1881 and 1913, Bayer developed into a chemical company with international operations. Although dyestuffs remained the company's largest division, new fields of business were joining the fold.

Of primary importance for Bayer's continuing development was the establishment of a major research capability by Carl Duisberg (1861–1935). A scientific laboratory was built in Wuppertal-Elberfeld – which was also the company's headquarters from 1878 until 1912 – that set new standards in industrial research. Bayer's research efforts gave rise to numerous intermediates, dyes and pharmaceuticals, including the "drug of the century," Aspirin®, which was developed by Felix Hoffmann and launched onto the market in 1899.

The Pharmaceutical Department Is Established

The financial foundation for expansion was laid in 1881, when Bayer was transformed into a joint stock company called "Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co." The company's impressive growth in its early years can be directly linked to its growing workforce, which grew from three in 1863 to more than 300 in 1881.

An International Presence

The creation of a worldwide sales organization was a decisive factor in the company's continuing development. Bayer had already shipped dyestuffs to many countries in its early years. By 1913, over 80 percent of revenues came from exports. Bayer today is represented in nearly all countries of the world. Bayer appointed a sales representative for the United States in 1865. A few years later, the company acquired an interest in a coal tar dye factory in Albany, New York. Over the following decades, additional foreign affiliated companies were established in order to secure and expand Bayer's position in important markets. Shortly before World War I, the company maintained subsidiaries in Russia, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United States. Of the approximately 10,000 people employed by Bayer in 1913, nearly 1,000 worked outside of Germany.

Leverkusen Becomes Company Headquarters

As time went on, the Elberfeld site proved to be too small for continuing expansion. For this reason, Bayer first purchased the alizarin red factory of Dr. Carl Leverkus & Sons north of Cologne in 1891 before acquiring additional land along the Rhine River. Starting in 1895, Bayer systematically expanded this site according to plans drawn up by Carl Duisberg, who served as the company's Management Board Chairman from 1912 to 1925. Leverkusen became the company's headquarters in 1912.

The Japanese Garden in Leverkusen

The Japanese Garden dates back to 1912. It was created on the initiative of the then General Director of Farbenfabrik Friedrich Bayer & Co. – Carl Duisberg – under professional guidance and has been open to the public since the 1950s. Today, many CHEMPARK employees regularly spend their lunch break there. 


Bayer's first major product was acetylsalicylic acid (originally discovered by French chemist Charles Frederic Gerhardt in 1853), a modification of salicylic acid or salicin, a folk remedy found in the bark of the willow plant. By 1899, Bayer's trademark Aspirin was registered worldwide for Bayer's brand of acetylsalicylic acid, but "Aspirin" lost its trademark status in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom because of the confiscation of Bayer's US assets and trademarks during World War I by the United States and the subsequent widespread usage of the word to describe all brands of the compound. It is now widely used in the US, UK, and France for all brands of the drug. However, it is still a registered trademark of Bayer in more than 80 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Switzerland. As of 2011, approximately 40,000 tons of aspirin are produced each year and 10-20 billion tablets are taken in the United States alone each year for prevention of cardiovascular events. It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.


There has been controversy over the roles played by Bayer scientists in the development of aspirin. Arthur Eichengrün, a Bayer chemist, claimed to be the first to discover an aspirin formulation which did not have the unpleasant side effects of nausea and gastric pain. Eichengrün also claimed that he invented the name aspirin and was the first person to use the new formulation to test its safety and efficacy. Bayer contends that aspirin was discovered by Felix Hoffmann to alleviate the sufferings of his father, who had arthritis. Various sources support the conflicting claims[1]. Most mainstream historians attribute the invention of aspirin to Felix Hoffmann and/or Arthur Eichengrün.

Bayer sued over controversial contraceptive pill Yasminelle [2]

Featured Videos

Top 5 Lifetime Tweets

Top 5 Recent Tweets

Date Author Comment
Jan 17, 2018 @Bayer Bayer partners with numerous scientists and agrivalue chain experts to advance Digital Farming research in crop simulation, soil mapping and more.
Jan 16,2018 @Bayer Today, up to 80% of new farm equipment have a precision agriculture component. What will #farming look like in the future? Take a look: 
Jan 9, 2018 @Bayer We have altered the Bayer Cross for the #digital age!

Watch the history of the #Bayer Cross - from 1881 to 2017! Learn more about the new look for the Bayer Cross: …

21 Nov, 2017 @Bayer #Counterfeitdrugs have become a serious problem. Experts estimate that up to 10% of the medicines in developing countries are counterfeited.

20 Nov, 2017 @Bayer Prescription drugs such as treatments against #AIDS or #cancer are particularly lucrative for counterfeiter. #counterfeitdrugs #fakedrugs

19 Nov,


@Bayer At Bayer, we believe that antibiotics are a valuable resource. And in the interest of human and animal health, antibiotics should always be used responsibly. Learn more about how we contribute to mitigating #AntibioticResistance:

15 Nov,


@Bayer #BusinessNews: @Heiko_Schipper to join #Bayer Board of Management and head Consumer Health Division. …

14 Nov,


@Bayer #Bayer ranks number 3 in an international ranking of the best and strongest company #brands, just behind Coca Cola and Hershey and ahead of Apple, Walt Disney and Microsoft.

That was the outcome of an analysis carried out by the CoreBrand company: …

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