the original patent drawing for Petroleum Jelly purification

A Breakthrough Discovery

Robert Augustus Chesebrough, a 22-year-old chemist, traveled to Titusville, Pennsylvania and discovered something amazing. He learned about a natural, waxy ingredient, rich in minerals from deep within the earth, which had visible skin-repairing properties.

Inspired by this, Chesebrough brought samples of the substance back to his chemistry lab in Brooklyn and began experimenting and re-formulating it, hoping to find a solution to heal and protect the skin.

After several years of testing and perfecting the extracting technique, in 1865 Chesebrough patented his purification method, marking the birth of the triple purification process unique to the Vaseline® brand.

Vintage bottles of Vaseline

The VASELINE® Brand Is Born

In 1870, the product we know and use today was officially born as Chesebrough began to distribute this pure petroleum jelly under the brand name of Vaseline® – one of the first branded products in North America.

In the same year, Chesebrough opened a factory in Brooklyn, New York and toured the entire state in a horse-drawn carriage to promote this "miracle" product.

By 1874, just two years after its branding, one tin per minute of Vaseline® Jelly was being sold throughout the United States. That's over 1,400 tins a day!

A vintage ad from 1880s of Vaseline's Petroleum Jelly

Trusted by All

People started to discover the safe and diverse uses of pure Vaseline® petroleum jelly, and soon nearly every household in North America had a jar in their medicine cabinet.

New mothers used it on their babies for diaper rash, while workers exposed to extreme cold weather used it to relieve their dry, chapped skin.

A box of Vaseline products from 1900s

A Wartime Staple

Vaseline® became a staple for the American soldiers fighting in Europe.

Ideal for soothing sore feet in the trenches, it was in such high demand that many young men would write home, asking their families to send more.

A vintage ad from 1920s of Vaseline's Petroleum Jelly

“Handiest Thing In The House”

Used both for first aid and cosmetically, it became a ubiquitous household brand.
an example of Vaseline's sterile antiseptic dressing fabricated in 1930s

Supporting The Frontline

During WWII, soldiers sustained serious injuries from burns, so Chesebrough Manufacturing Company was commissioned by the Surgeon General to produce a sterile antiseptic dressing containing petroleum jelly.
A vintage ad from 1950s of Vaseline's Petroleum Jelly

"The Wonder Jelly"

Reader's Digest called Vaseline® "The Wonder Jelly".