Who Invented Alka Seltzer


The combination of baking soda and aspirin had been known for several years to be a beneficial remedy for several ailments. The only problem was that they were taken individually and Miles Laboratories wanted to be able to combine them in a way that would make it easy for people to take. A chemist working for this company named Joseph Maurice Treneer, who went by his middle name more often than his first name, discovered that adding sodium bicarbonate to the product help to create a stable tablet that would give off an effervescent effect.

The results were almost immediately. The effervescent effect helped to clear out airways and the combination of baking soda and aspirin help to relieve stomach issues that were caused by a number of different issues.

Who Asked Treneer To Begin the Production of Alka Seltzer?

It was the president of Miles Laboratories that had the initial ideas for Alka Seltzer, who was Hub Beardsley. His idea came from a visit to Elkhart, Indiana in the winter of 1928. He was having a conversation with the local newspaper editor about the flu epidemic that was sweeping across the country that year and a casual comment was made about how the reporters of this newspaper had been able to beat back the flu better than most anyone else.

What was different? The editor had been encouraging his staff to take the aspirin and baking soda combination. Upon returning from this conversation, Beardsley approached Treneer about making the product that we would come to know as Alka Seltzer. Beardsley never got to see the culmination of his work, however, because he passed away in 1929.

How Did Alka Seltzer Begin To Become Popular?

The immediate splash that Alka Seltzer had in 1931 when it was introduced to the general public began to wind down and by the 1960’s, it was struggling to find new customers. The problem was that many of their loyal customers were getting up there in age and they couldn’t get into the wallets of the younger generation. The product had become a symbol of people who had an inability to care for themselves in some way.

What changed for the company was a series of television commercials that helped to entertain people while they were waiting for their program to return. The most influential commercial was the classic image we see of Alka Seltzer today: two tablets floating down into a crystal clear glass of water. It was the first time that two tablets were advertised instead of one and it dramatically increased sales and brand awareness for the agency.

The next time you have a bit of indigestion and want to feel better, take a moment to examine the plop plop, fizz fizz that Alka Seltzer will bring to your stomach. Not only will you likely experience the relief you want, but will also encourage you to take two tablets instead of just one.

Indigestion and Heartburn Facts