Launched back in 1902 as a herbal balm and antiseptic ointment, Zam-Buk flourished and during the First World War was heavily promoted and associated with helping the thousands wounded in the conflict.
By the 1930s the emphasis had moved to the more mundane needs of ‘tired aching feet, corns, chilblains, chapped hands, cuts, sores and all skin troubles’.
The brand survived another world war and the influx of numerous new medicinal cures during the ’50s and ’60s.
I had expected that Zam-Buk had disappeared around that time – but no, it was still on sale right up 1994 when it was finally discontinued.
But then a miracle of recovery, I find in my local chemist a small tin priced at £3.99 of this ‘great herbal balm – unequalled as an embrocation’. It’s made a comeback.
Discover the fascinating history of consumer culture from Victorian times to the present day at the Museum of Brands.