George Rieveschl

George Rieveschl

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Dr. George Rieveschl was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 chemist and professor. He was the inventor of the popular antihistamine
An H1 antagonist is a histamine antagonist of the H1 receptor that serves to reduce or eliminate effects mediated by histamine, an endogenous chemical mediator released during allergic reactions...

Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is a first-generation antihistamine possessing anticholinergic, antitussive, antiemetic, and sedative properties which is mainly used to treat allergies. Like most other first-generation antihistamines, the drug also has a powerful hypnotic effect, and for this reason...

Benadryl is a brand name allergy medicine marketed over-the-counter by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Prior to 2007, Benadryl was marketed by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare...

), which he first made during a search for synthetic alternatives to scopolamine
Scopolamine, also known as levo-duboisine, and hyoscine, is a tropane alkaloid drug with muscarinic antagonist effects. It is among the secondary metabolites of plants from Solanaceae family of plants, such as henbane, jimson weed and Angel's Trumpets , and corkwood...


Born in Arlington Heights, Ohio
Arlington Heights, Ohio
Arlington Heights is a village in Hamilton County, Ohio, United States. The population was 899 at the 2000 census. The village is almost completely contained within the wide median of the Mill Creek Expressway , one of the few urban splits of freeway lanes in the country, earning it the nickname...

, he attended the Ohio Mechanics Institute before earning bachelors, masters, and PhD degrees at the University of Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is a comprehensive public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a part of the University System of Ohio....

 (UC). Rieveschl returned to the University of Cincinnati where he served as a professor of chemical engineering, and later a professor of materials science.

Rieveschl remained active in the Cincinnati-area science and arts community until his death at age 91 from pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

. He had contributed an estimated $10 million to his alma mater, according to a UC spokeswoman.