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Albert Alexander Hyde

Manufacturer. Born: March 2, 1848, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Died: January 10, 1935, Wichita, Kansas.

Alexander HydeBorn in Lee, Massachusetts, Albert Alexander Hyde moved to Leavenworth, Kansas in 1865. Originally a clerk for a bank, who then entered the real estate market, it was in 1889 that he, along with two partners created The Yucca Company. The company sold mostly shaving cream, soaps, and perfume made from yucca. One of the products made by the company was Vest Pocket Cough Specific which soothed the throat using camphor and menthol. Hyde was intrigued by the products soothing capabilities and began experimenting with it in hopes of creating a cough syrup. Using his home kitchen as a lab he tested many formulas, many of which were disastrous. Finally in 1894 Hyde created Mentholatum ointment.

The product was an immediate success, and quickly became the Yucca Company's top seller. In 1906 the company was renamed The Mentholatum Company, and ceased selling other products. In 1909 a large factory was built in Wichita, with a second in Buffalo, New York. Mentholatum became a worldwide product after Hyde began giving the product to missionaries. The company was later bought by a Japanese company, which had been founded to manufacture Mentholatum in Japan. Hyde died on January 10, 1935.

Entry: Hyde, Albert Alexander

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: May 2011

Date Modified: January 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.