The inventor of Vaseline, Robert Chesebrough, believed in the product so much that he ate a spoonful of it every day until his death at 96.

  • In 1859, Chesebrough visited an oil field and learned of a residue called “rod wax” that had to be periodically removed from pumps. When he learned the workers had been using it to treat cuts and burns, he started experiments
  • He spent over a decade perfecting his extraction and purification process before introducing his “Wonder Jelly” to the world
  • He marketed his product by driving around New York and burning his skin with acid or an open flame and then applying the jelly to his injury and showing past injuries that had healed
  • By 1874, stores were selling over 1400 jars of Vaseline a day

Robert Chesebrough


  • In 1913, chemist T. L. Williams mixed coal dust with Vaseline petroleum jelly, inventing mascara
  • While other products might feature petroleum jelly, only the products with the blue seal feature actual Vaseline
  • Vaseline can be used to lengthen eyelashes


“BIONs” – short for Believe It or Not – is the word we use at Ripley’s to refer to anything that is unbelievable and worthy to become part of Ripley’s lore and collection.

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