|Product type||Petroleum jelly body lotion|
Vaseline (pron.: // or //) is a brand of petroleum jelly based products owned by Anglo-Dutch company Unilever. Products include plain petroleum jelly and a selection of skin creams, soaps, lotions, cleansers, deodorants and personal lubricants.
The Vaseline name is considered generic in Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries, where the Unilever products are called Vasenol, and in German, Nordic and Slavic speaking countries.
The first known reference to the name Vaseline was by the inventor of petroleum jelly, Robert Chesebrough in his U.S. patent for the process of making petroleum jelly (U.S. Patent 127,568) in 1872. "I, Robert Chesebrough, have invented a new and useful product from petroleum which I have named Vaseline..."
The word is believed to come from German Wasser (water) + Greek έλαιον [elaion] (oil) + scientific-sounded ending -ine.
In 1859, Chesebrough went to the oil fields in Titusville, Pennsylvania, and learned of a residue called "rod wax" that had to be periodically removed from oil rig pumps. The oil workers had been using the substance to heal cuts and burns. Chesebrough took samples of the rod wax back to Brooklyn, extracted the usable petroleum jelly, and began manufacturing the medicinal product he called Vaseline.
While Vaseline can be used as a lubricant, it is also a useful moisture insulator for local skin conditions characterized by tissue dehydration. Vaseline helps protect minor cuts and burns.
- Online Etymology Dictionary
- The History of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly began in the Pennsylvania Oil Fields!, Drake Well Museum pamphlet, copyright 1996 by Holigan Group Ltd, Dallas, Texas
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