Vaseline was invented in the United States by an English immigrant Robert Chesebrough.
Educated as a chemical engineer, he saw interest in the oil boom and traveled to oil fields. There his attention was drawn to waxy substance that stuck on pipes and scored pumps. The sticky goo turned out to possess curative properties: it healed burns and cuts in a flash. Chesebrough had suffered some scratches and burns himself – and so he applied the petroleum jelly to his wounds. The wounds healed readily. Then he set up the production of an ointment but failed to see injured persons lining up to buy the medication. It was the product name that was repelling – why would anyone buy “petroleum jelly” to cure their wounds? Chesebrough then managed to invent a new name for his healing paste. He merged the German word wasser, which means water, with Greek έλαιον, which means olive oil. The formulation turned out to be useful not only for the treatment of cuts: Vaseline has found use in engineering. It is used in electrical industry, for impregnating paper and fabrics, lubricating bearings and protecting metals from corrosion. As for Chesebrough, his wounds healed so well that he lived for almost a century.