One day a young chemist (who for some unknown reason was hanging around oil well drilling operations) observed the workers treating small cuts and scrapes on their hands by smearing their injuries with a kind of goo (called "rod wax") that accumulated around the well casings. It staunched the bleeding and enhanced healing. Story is, he began refining the slick, clear substance, filling all his available beakers. Finally (so the story goes) he began using household vessels to hold the stuff, even tossing out his wife's flowers and using the vases. The man was Robert Chesebrough, the inventor (and namer) of VASEline Petroleum Jelly.
The google search that turned up this little gem of trivia came about in one of those "what AM I doing" moments yesterday. What exactly IS this slimy stuff I'm putting on my sunburnt face, I wondered. And in the process of learning about petroleum jelly, I came across even more wonderfully useful related fragments:Posted by fred1st at July 4, 2004 05:52 AM | TrackBack