Absorbine Liniment Company W.F. Young Celebrating 115 Years

W. F. Young, maker of Absorbine Veterinary Liniment, has announced it is celebrating its 115-year anniversary. Founded in 1892 by Wilbur Fenelon Young and his wife Mary Ida, W. F. Young, Inc. is still a family-owned business, and is developing new products in both the horse and human health markets.

"We're extremely proud to be celebrating our 115th anniversary as a family-owned and operated organization," said Tyler F. Young, president and CEO of W. F. Young, Inc. and the fourth generation of the Young family to lead the company, "Over the century we've been in business our customers have come to trust the Absorbine brand and that's not something we take lightly. We strive to maintain that trust by offering only the most innovative and high-quality products that provide real value to horse enthusiasts."

W. F. Young, Inc. began with a liniment recipe created by Mary Ida Young. An amateur horticulturist, Mary Ida developed her all-natural formula because she disliked the harsh chemicals used at the time to treat soreness and lameness in horses. Her husband Wilbur used the product on the horse he drove while delivering pianos for the Wilcox and White company. As word spread about their liniment, Wilbur and Mary Ida soon had so many orders that they set up a bathtub in their kitchen to mix enough of the product to meet demand.

In 1892, Wilbur founded W. F. Young, Inc. with a $500 loan from his father, who called him a "darned fool" for starting a business that depended on horses--which were rapidly being replaced by the automobile. Company lore maintains that one of the stipulations of the loan was that Wilbur was required to add "Pa's Darned Fool" to his signature--thereby explaining the "P.D.F." that subsequently appeared after his name in company documents. However, his endeavor proved to be far from foolish--in just a few years, Absorbine liniment was sold worldwide and was manufactured at a state-of-the-art facility in Springfield, Mass.

Not long after the introduction of the Veterinary Liniment, the Youngs realized that people were buying the product for themselves as much as for their horses. They developed Absorbine Jr. as an external analgesic and antiseptic, which quickly became a household name. Due to the product's antibacterial and antifungal properties, W. F. Young also sold Absorbine Jr. as a treatment for microorganism infections due to "athlete's foot"--a term coined by the company in the 1940s.

W.F. Young's leaders are working to develop innovative new offerings to add to their extensive equine products portfolio. The company currently markets several equine brands, including ShowSheen hair polish and detangler, UltraShield insecticide and repellant, Hooflex hoof care products, and Horseman's One Step leather cleaner and conditioner, along with Absorbine liniments.

"We maintain a long-view approach to research and development that supports our dedication to the equine market," said Young. "We've experienced impressive sales growth for the past 10 years, which has helped to solidify our leadership position within this industry. Our strength as a small, privately held company is a testament to the family- and community-oriented approach that started with Wilbur F. Young."

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