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The History of Chapstick - The History of Carmex

The history of two popular lip balms Chapstick and Carmex.


Close-Up of a Woman Applying Lip Balm or chapstick

Close-Up of a Woman Applying Lip Balm or chapstick

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Dr. C. D. Fleet, a physician from Lynchburg, Virginia, invented Chapstick or lip balm in the early 1880s. Fleet made the first Chapstick himself that resembled a small wickless candle wrapped in tin foil.

Morton Manufacturing Corporation - Chapstick

Fleet sold his recipe to fellow Lynchburg resident John Morton in 1912 for five dollars after failing to sell enough of the product to make it worth his continued efforts. John Morton along with his wife started production of the pink Chapstick in their kitchen. Mrs. Morton melted and mixed the ingredients and then used brass tubes to mold the sticks. The business was successful and the Morton Manufacturing Corporation was founded on the sales of Chapstick.

In 1963, the A. H. Robbins Company bought the rights to Chapstick lip balm from Morton Manufacturing Corporation. At first, only Chapstick Lip Balm regular stick was available to consumers. Since 1963, a number of different flavors and types of Chapstick were added.

  • 1971 - four Chapstick Lip Balm flavored sticks were added
  • 1981 - Chapstick Sunblock 15 was added
  • 1985 - Chapstick Petroleum was added
The current manufacturers of Chapstick is the Wyeth Corporation. Chapstick is part of Wyeth Consumer Healthcare division.

The History of Carmex

Carmex is a salve for chapped lips and cold sores invented in 1936. The ingredients in Carmex are menthol, camphor, alum and wax. Alfred Woelbing, the founder of Carma Lab Incorporated, invented Carmex.

Alfred Woelbing suffered from cold sores and invented Carmex to find a solution to his own health issues. Carmex's name comes from the "Carm" from Woelbing lab's name and "ex" was a very popular suffix at the time, which resulted in the name Carmex.

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