Listerine is a well-known mouthwash brand, but it didn’t begin life as such. Listerine was originally a surgical disinfectant. It was made by the Johnson brothers, who were looking for a way to make surgeries safer and were inspired by English surgeon Sir Joseph Lister. In 1879, they came up with an antiseptic liquid which they called Listerine after Sir Lister. Listerine was advertised and sold as a surgical disinfectant that could also be used to treat wounds, dandruff, athlete’s foot, and even insect bites. In one instance, it was even sold as a deodorant.
The Johnson brothers later teamed up with pharmacist Jordan Wheat Lambert and began selling Listerine to dentists for use as an oral antiseptic. Lambert’s children are responsible for making Listerine into the mouthwash we know today after they asked the company’s chemist to tell them all the things Listerine could be used for. The chemist included bad breath (also called halitosis), and the company began advertising it as such.
I reckon that somethings are worth more than they appear at first. From medicine to mouthwash, Listerine has had a long and colorful run so far. More power to them!
Coffee out on the patio again this morning. That OK?