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Our Heritage

From Farm To Fame

In rural Vermont in 1899, word spread about a miraculous salve for chafed and cracked cow udders, concocted by a pharmacist in Wells River. The next year, a Lyndonville, VT farmer named John L. Norris saddled his best horse and rode 30 miles to find out what the fuss was about. 

The minute he tried it on the first cow, John Norris knew this balm was something special. He scraped up every penny he could find to buy the miraculous formula – and all the rights to market it.

Bag Balm officially launched once John hired a designer to create the distinctive green tin with a cow’s head (and Vermont’s indigenous red clover) on the lid. A legend was born, and it was too big to stay in the barn.

Old locals still talk about how Bag Balm saved everybody’s hide in the winter of 1933, when the temperature fell to 50 below zero. In 1937, Admiral Richard Byrd took Bag Balm to the North Pole. During World War II, soldiers used it on their rifles to keep them in working condition. And after the Twin Towers in New York fell on 9-11, Vermont's Original quietly provided Bag Balm to be massaged into the scratched paws of search dogs, who relentlessly roamed over mountains of rubble looking for survivors. 

Since 1899, Bag Balm has been a tried and true staple of every home, ready to moisturize every callus, cut, new tattoo, chafed foot or heel, cracked lip, or patch of dry winter skin of every member of the household - right down to the sore paw pads of the family dog.