Sometime in 1890
, the Vick
's family moved to Greensboro
, NC. They purchased the Richardson and Farris Drugstore
located on South Elm Street
At that time, Greensboro was rather small and mainly a market center. The drugstore was frequented by farmers who raised their own food and had exceedingly small incomes. Consequently, they rarely sought out medical assistance for simple ailments.
The Vick's family developed many home remedies, 21 in all, over the years to satisfy the needs of their rural patrons. The most popular of which became the foundation for the Vick's empire.
Menthol, a little-known drug imported from Japan, was incorporated into an ointment that when rubbed on the chest would evaporate from body heat, permitting the soothing, medicated vapors to be inhaled.
VapoRub was popularized as a treatment for "croupy babies", those with difficulty in breathing and a hoarse cough. It was perfect since the medication was not internal and would not cause stomach upset.