Nasty winter weather can’t be avoided, but thanks to some helpful, practical and healing products, it can be managed. So it makes sense that at least one of those products would come out of Buffalo, where winter is king.

Turns out a number of such products are made by a global company with a long history in WNY. The Mentholatum Company, located in Orchard Park, was formed by Albert Alexander Hyde in the late 1880s when he formed a partnership with The Yucca Company, out of Wichita, Kansas. The Yucca Company manufactured and marketed shaving creams, laundry soap and toilet soap, and later, with Hyde’s help, methol cough syrup (containing a blend of camphor and menthol, an anti-inflammatory). The cough syrup was such a success that in 1903, Hyde opened a second office in Buffalo. The Yucca Company subsequently changed its named to The Mentholatum Company and by 1919 had built additional factories in Wichita and Buffalo. After Hyde’s death in 1935, corporate offices were moved to Wilmington, Delaware and later, Buffalo.

Today the company sells in 130 countries and has offices around the globe, in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The company, best known for its mentholatum deep heating rub, offers non-prescription pharmaceutical, healthcare and cosmetic products to customers worldwide. Current product lines include skin care (OXY, Acnes), sun protection (SunPlay), face and body care (Mentholatum for Men, pHisoderm), and additional eye, lip (Softlips), pain relief (Thermo-Rub), cough and cold, and oral care products, among others (Selsun).

From air-conditioners for the summer, to cough syrups for the winter, Buffalo manufacturers sure know how to innovate for its seasons.

Image courtesy of Buffalo Evening News, Oct. 31, 1964.

Insyte Consulting