Bag Balm: A Townships product that flew under the radar

Bag Balm: A Townships product that flew under the radar
Jeff Smith, son of Eric and Diane, pictured at the production facilities in Rock Island (Photo : Record Archives)

By Taylor McClure
Special to The Record

Bag Balm, which became popular in households for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, was first produced for animal use starting around 1897. A pharmacist from Windsor, Vermont was the brains behind the product and it was meant to be used on milking cows when their utters became sore or chapped. In 1920, a man named Charles Hunt purchased the exclusive rights of Bag Balm to be manufactured in Canada. It started to be produced in Rock Island, Stanstead under the name Dairy Association Company limited. It eventually landed in the hands of the Smith family when Carol Smith purchased the business in 1942 and they continued to make a difference in people’s lives one can of Bag Balm at a time.

“Carol was a customs officer, but custom officers in those days didn’t do much to be perfectly honest,” laughed Diane Smith, daughter-in-law to Carol Smith. “The border was not like it is today. He put in his eight-hour shift but he was always looking for something else to do.”
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