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Supplies of aspirin from German company Bayer were restricted during World War I. Pharmacist George Nicholas successfully manufactured acetyl salicylic acid at his Junction Pharmacy in St Kilda. With inventor Harry W. Shmith, Nicholas was granted a licence to manufacture and sell aspirin in the Commonwealth in September 1915, G.R. Nicholas & Co. being the forerunner of Nicholas International Ltd. Shmith, his father and another business associate, J.W. Broady, had sold off their interests in the venture, leaving Nicholas and his older brother Alfred to reap the eventual worldwide success of the product, registered as Aspro in Australia in April 1917.

Andrew May

Smith, R. Grenville, and Alexander Barrie, Aspro: How a family business grew up, Nicholas International Ltd, Melbourne, 1976. Details