125 Years of Bag Balm

Vintage illustration of Bag Balm products

The year was 1899. Queens and Staten Island had just become part of New York City, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid committed their first armed robbery, and cab driver Jacob German was the recipient of the US’s first ever speeding ticket – when caught driving a whopping 12 miles per hour down Lexington Ave.

And on a small dairy farm in Wells River, Vermont, Bag Balm was invented as a moisturizing aid for dry, chapped cow udders. Word spread quickly, and John Norris from neighboring Lyndonville bought the rights to manufacture the formula. In a stroke of inspiration, he commissioned the design of our now-iconic green tin, decorated with cow udders and a wreath of red clovers – Vermont’s state flower.

Original Bag Balm in a green tin

Vermont's Original Bag Balm has come a long way since our humble origins, but some things never change. We still provide long-lasting moisture with simple, time-tested ingredients, we still sell Bag Balm in square, green tins…and small dairy farmers still swear by us!

In honor of our 125th anniversary in 2024, here’s a look at Bag Balm history:


Bag Balm invented on a dairy farm in Wells River, VT


Bag Balm expanded into more animal products, including supplements with the launch of Horse Tonic and Kow Kure.


 Hoof Softener launch...pedicure, anyone?


Admiral Richard Byrd brings Bag Balm on his North Pole expedition, according to a letter published in the New York Times


Legend has it, WWII soldiers used Bag Balm to protect their rifles from rust and corrosion
Bag Balm temporarily sold in waxed paper containers due to the wartime tin shortage

Started being marketed for human use
The launch of the Jumbo Tin Pail

Tin Pail packaging changed to plastic
Tackmaster product launch

The last time we modified our formula

Bag Balm revealed as Shania Twain’s beauty secret
1oz Mini Tin launched



9/11 rescue dogs’ paws are treated with Bag Balm


Discontinued all livestock-specific products, except Bag Balm Original Formula
Moisturizing Bar Soap and Lotion with Shea Butter launched


Bag Balm turns 125! Thanks for being a fan!


New design of the green Bag Balm Tin

Our Heritage

Made in Vermont since 1899, Bag Balm has been soothing and moisturizing skin for generations. From our origins on a dairy farm to celebrities' bathroom cabinets...we've come a long way!

Skincare That Works Wonders • Made in Vermont Since 1899