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Sir Robert Chesebrough
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Scientist
    (January 1837-September 8, 1933)
    Died in Spring Lake, New Jersey
    Patented the process of petroleum jelly, subsequently named Vaseline (Patent #127568)
    Founder of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company (1875; renamed Chesebrough-Ponds, 1955)
    He worked at clarifying kerosene from the oil of… sperm whales.
    Then, having his work rendered worthless by petroleum, he traveled to Titusville, Pennsylvania in the hopes of benefiting by the relatively young oil industry (1859).
    Oh, the things scientists will do for their work — cut and burn yourself to demonstrate the properties of Vaseline?
    He was not above throwing out his wife’s flowers and using her vases to store his glop.
    During his lifetime, the medicinal value of his new product was dismissed as hogwash — especially as he claimed to eat a spoonful a day of the stuff.
    Augustus was not an unusual name in his day.
    At the oil rigs, he took note of the wax that routinely collected around the pump rods; oil workers would apply this residue to any cuts and burns they sustained in the drilling process.
    Unable to convince merchants to market his glop, he hit the road and did it himself.
    He also had a knack for poetry.
    He managed to live twice as long as his wife – again unusual in his day – who died in 1887.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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