• I work for Unilever, we own the Q-Tips brand: The product we now know as the Q-tip started in 1923, when its inventor, Leo Gersenzang, first saw his wife sticking wads of cotton to the ends of toothpicks, then stuffing them in their baby's ears, fingers, toes, and other crevices for cleaning. Understandably concerned for his baby's health -- the swabs were just hanging on the sharp end of a toothpick, after all -- Leo decided that a ready-to-use cotton swab might be just the kind of product new mothers would want. So later that year, he founded the Gerstenzang Infant Novelty Co., specializing in baby care accessories. The original name of the product was Baby Gays, if you can believe it. There seems to be no explanation why Leo chose such a name. However, back then, the word "gay" didn't generally have the same connotation as it does today, so it probably didn't have anything to do with homosexuality, at least not intentionally.
  • I'll add that they were changed to Q_Tips because the Q stood for quality. They got rid of the Baby Gays as they wanted to show that it wasn't just for babies, but for the whole family.

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