Who Invented ChapStick?

Dr. Charles D. Fleet, a physician from Lynchburg, the United States, invented the ‘ChapStick’ as a lip balm in the early 1880s. The first chapsticks resembled candles without wicks and they were packed in a tin foil. The product wasn’t a commercial success. Disheartened, the inventor sold the formula to John Morton in 1912 for mere $5!

John Morton started production on a small scale in his kitchen with his wife. They melted and mixed the ingredients and gave them cylindrical shapes using brass tubes. The venture turned out to be a success and soon Morton Manufacturing Corporation was founded. The rights to manufacture ChapSticks were sold once again in 1963 and this time A. H. Robbins bought the rights and it was in the same year that ChapSticks were introduced in different flavors. Cherry flavor is currently the most popular flavor.

ChapStickCurrent ChapSticks also function as sun-screens and a typical ChapStick contains camphor, menthol, vitamin E, phenol, beeswax and aloe. It is said that the original versions contained oxybenzone but it is still a controversial issue. Oxybenzone acts as a sunscreen but it can also be harmful to the skin. ChapSticks form a specially designed hydrophobic (it repulses water) layer which, according to the company, prevents moisture loss and protecting them from getting dried and chapped in the winters. It works as a lubricating agent, thereby, improving the skin condition.

Category: Inventions

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