Leo Gerstenzang watched his wife make a Q-tip by putting cotton on the end of a toothpick to clean out their daughter’s ears. She was frustrated with the process and time it took. He designed a Q-tip by creating a machine, which took years, to wind tight cotton on each end of a cured, non-splintering, and smooth birchwood stick with blunt ends in 1920.
In 1920, Mr. Gerstenzang named the invention “Baby Gays”, but later found it wasn’t a good marketable name to describe the use of the Q-tip. In 1926, he changed the name to Q-tips. Q for quality and tips for the cotton wool wound around the wooden stick to better describe his product for buyers.
His Q-tips business increased in demand, and he needed more space for manufacturing his creation. He left New York City to a new plant in Long Island in 1948.
In the 1950’s, Q-tips cotton swabs caught the attention of Ern Westmoor, a popular Hollywood Makeup Artist. With Mr. Westmoor’s help, a booklet was created. The booklet offered helpful hints on how to use the cotton swaps for applying or removing makeup. Some of you might be using the cotton swabs to do this today.
In 1958, Q-tips bought Paper Sticks, Ltd. of England, which had manufactured paper sticks used in the confectionary business. The machinery from Paper Sticks, Ltd. was moved to the United States, and Q-tips were now offered in paper or wood sticks with the cotton swabs at each end.
In 1962, Q-tips was purchased by Chesebrough-Ponds. The new owner moved the Q-tip business from Long Island, New York to Jefferson City, Missouri.
In 1974, Q-tips moved a portion of the business to Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. From this time through the 1980’s, Q-tips changed to all cotton swabs.
In 1987, Unilever in England purchased Chesebrough-Ponds and Q-tips.
In November, 2011, Q-tips became biodegradable.
Shortly after production, doctors advised patients not to use Q-tips for your ears. But there are many uses for cotton swabs for cleaning around the house.
I use Q-tips to remove makeup, to clean around the bathroom sink bases, to apply medicine to cuts and so much more.
Comment below with a way you use Q-tips to enter for a chance to win a $10 Amazon card. Please remember to put your email address so I can reach you if you win!
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