About Leo In 1923, Leo Gerstenzang, a Polish born American, lived with his wife and child. He was concerned with the way his wife was cleaning their baby’s ears, so he invented the cotton swab that is now called the Q- tip. He started the Leo Gerstenzang Infant Novelty Company and began selling the disposable cotton swabs in bundles.
The Problem Leo was concerned that his wife was using a toothpick with wads of cotton on each end to clean their baby’s ears. He was afraid that the toothpick would cut the baby or that the cotton would come of f the toothpick and become lodged in the baby’s ear.
The Invention Leo’s original invention was a wooden stick with cotton secured to both ends of the stick. It took him several years to perfect the invention. He ran into design problems like how to secure equal amounts of cotton on each end. Eventually he was successful in developing a very useful and popular product with parent friendly packaging.
The name Because he designed the product to keep babies happy as their ears were safely cleaned, the original name for the product was Baby Gays. In 1926, he changed the name to Q-tips Baby Gays. The Q stood for quality. Eventually, Baby Gays was dropped and the product became known simply as Q- tips. Today, because of the popularity of the product, Q-tips is a generic term used for all brands of cotton swabs.
The MANY uses of a Q-tip Help to make life easier Some of the main uses of a Q-tip are: Cleaning your ears (although doctors recommend that you do not put them inside your ear canal) Medicine application Cleaning small spaces between computer keys Applying glue Spreading paint Make-up application Cleaning jewelry Doctors use them
Why are Q-tips so popular? Q-tips are available at most pharmacies, super stores and convenience stores. They are packaged in large quantities at an affordable price. They are made of 100% natural materials and are biodegradable.
What I Learned Leo Gerstenzang invented them to keep his baby safe. They were invented a long time ago. Their original name was Baby Gays. The Q stands for quality. They are a handy little product!