They were first named "vital amines" by Polish biochemist Kazimierz Funk around 1912. Other suggestions of the time were "food hormones" or "food accessory factor." Would parents today insist their children get food hormones? Vitamin supplements are taken by half the American population–even though scientists have debunked this idea over and over. (A fascinating history of vitamins is available in Vitamania by Catherine Price.)
PositiveTip: Get your vitamins from the foods in a healthy diet. It is the best way!