Introduced in 1879 by dr. Joseph Lawrence, a chemist in St. Louis, Missouri, Listerine is the world’s first antiseptic mouthwash. Named after Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, who was the first surgeon to perform an operation in a chamber sterilized by pulverizing antiseptic in the air, Listerine was created as a unique antiseptic for use in surgeries and bathing wounds.
In 1881 Lambert Pharmaceutical Co buys the rights to the Listerine formula and begins to produce and market it. In 1914, Listerine mouthwash becomes the first prescription product in the US to also be sold over the counter and is marketed as an oral germ killer. Listerine today is manufactured and distributed by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
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