The raw material for petroleum jelly was discovered in 1859 in Titusville, on some of the country's first oil rigs. Workers disliked the paraffin-like material forming on rigs because it caused them to malfunction, but they used it on cuts and burns because it hastened healing.
Chesebrough's success came from his belief in Vaseline. Before Chesebrough began selling it, he tested it on his own cuts and burns. Having demonstrated the product's effectiveness on himself, Chesebrough was still unable to sell Vaseine to drug stores until he traveled around New York, demonstrating his miraculous product. (See photo above) In front of audiences, he would burn himself with acid or an open flame, then spread Vaseline on his burn injuries while showing his past injuries, healed, by Vaseline. To create a demand, he gave out free samples.
Chesebrough opened his first factory in 1870. The first known reference to the name Vaseline is in his U.S. patent: “I, Robert Chesebrough, have invented a new and useful product from petroleum which I have named 'Vaseline…'" . The etymology of the word is believed to come from German wasser (water) + Greek έλαιον (oil).
During a bout of pleurisy in his mid-50s, Chesebrough instructed his nurse to rub him from head to toe with Vaseline. He attributed the use of Vaseline to his recovery. Robert Chesebrough lived to be 96 years old. He was such a believer in Vaseline that he claimed to have eaten a spoonful of it every day. ** FOR MORE ON THIS TOPIC, visit wikipedia.com After my online research of Vaseline's inventor, Robert Chesebrough, I will lovingly think of him as," Sideshow Bob and his Traveling Show"!