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History of a “Miracle Product”

Posted by Andrea Welzien on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

One beauty & personal care product we’ve probably all used at some point in our lives is Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. The history of Vaseline dates all the way back to 1870 when chemist Robert Chesebrough discovered petroleum jelly. Chesebrough first started his career as a chemist and oddly enough his job was clarifying kerosene from the oil of sperm whales. His job was no longer needed when petroleum was discovered later in Pennsylvania. Frustrated, Chesebrough traveled to Pennsylvania to see what other products could be created from this new fuel. This led to his discovery of petroleum jelly, which he marketed and trade-named Vaseline.

In 1870, Chesebrough opened his very first factory, and the production of Vaseline took off. Robert Chesebrough had the process for making Vaseline trademarked, and by 1874, stores were selling 1,400 jars of Vaseline every day! The Chesebrough Manufacturing Company was founded in 1875, and later became Chesebrough-Ponds, a quality manufacturer of personal-care products.

The success of Chesebrough’s Vaseline was attributed to his confidence and belief in his own product. In the beginning when he was unable to sell any product at all, he traveled to New York, demonstrating his product so consumers could see the results. He even went so far as to burn his skin with acid or an open flame, and then apply the Vaseline to his injuries. He would show past injuries and how they healed with his “miracle product.” To increase product awareness, he also distributed free samples.

Vaseline was purchased in 1987 by Unilever, and the company now has a whole range of products including the original Vaseline Petroleum Jelly as well as lotions, serums and lip products. Chesebrough lived to 96 years of age and was so confident in his product that he ate a spoonful of Petroleum Jelly every day! His legacy shows how hard work, determination and believing in yourself can pay off.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 at 7:15 am and is filed under Cosmetic Leaders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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