Chesebrough Manufacturing Company

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Chesebrough Manufacturing Company
IndustryOil-based Products
Founded1859; 163 years ago (1859)
FounderRobert Augustus Chesebrough
DefunctJune 1955 (1955-06)
FateMerged with Pond's

Chesebrough Manufacturing Company was an oil business which produced petroleum jelly or Vaseline,[1] which was marketed with the brand name Luxor. It was founded in 1859.[2] Robert Augustus Chesebrough, a chemist who started the company, was interested in marketing oil products for medicinal needs. He produced the first petroleum jelly by refining rod wax through the use of heat and filtration. He named Vaseline from the German language word for water (Wasser) and the Greek language word for oil (olion). Vaseline was patented in the United States in 1872 and England in 1877.

Company history[edit]

In 1870, Robert Chesebrough began selling a product derived from petroleum residue, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. Chesebrough's first manufacturing plant for vaseline was in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. In 1881, Chesebrough Manufacturing began operating under Standard Oil. With the breakup of Standard Oil in 1911, it regained independence. Additional production sites were built in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in 1924, London, England.[3]

Chesebrough Manufacturing Company distributed its product throughout the United States and Britain during the early and mid-20th century.[1] Its UK office was at 42 Holborn Viaduct.[4] It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and grouped with other oil-related stocks such as Standard Oil and its subsidiaries, and Continental Oil.[5]

The company had a productive record of earnings and dividend disbursements even with the onset of the Great Depression. Earnings increased from $8.36 per share in 1925 to $13.22 during 1929.[1] As of December 31, 1940, the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company had total assets of $4,267,940 and liabilities of $603,643.[6] In 1940, damage to its London plant from a World War II air raid totaled $50,000.[6]

Chesebrough and Pond's merged in June 1955, and in 1987 Chesebrough-Ponds was acquired by the Anglo-Dutch company Unilever.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "Curb Market Comment". The Wall Street Journal. July 18, 1930. p. 19.
  2. ^ Isaac E. Lambert; 1941. The Public Accepts: Stories Behind Famous Trade-marks, Names and Slogans. University of New Mexico Press.
  3. ^ "Vaseline: from trade mark to noun". PJ Online. Archived from the original on 2019-10-22.[full citation needed]
  4. ^ A Pictorial and Descriptive Guide to London and Its Environs: With Two Large Section Plans of Central London... Ward, Lock & Company, Limited. 1919. advertisement ff. p 270.
  5. ^ "Financial Markets". The New York Times. June 21, 1914. p. XX10.
  6. ^ a b "Chesebrough Mfg". The Wall Street Journal. April 1, 1941. p. 9.
  7. ^ B. Kumar (14 November 2012). Mega Mergers and Acquisitions: Case Studies from Key Industries. Springer. pp. 222–. ISBN 978-1-137-00590-8.