Leo Gerstenzang - Inventor of Q-Tips

Cotton Swabs

Q-Tips
Q-Tips. Stockbyte/Getty Images

Cotton swabs under the brand name of Q-Tips were invented in 1923 by a Polish-born American named Leo Gerstenzang. The inventor was also the founder of the Leo Gerstenzang Infant Novelty Company that marketed his new invention.

Leo Gerstenzang decided to create a pre-manufactured cotton swab after observing his wife wrapping a piece of cotton on the end of a toothpick.

Baby Gays

Q-Tips was not the first brand name Gertenzang used for his cotton swabs, Baby Gays was.
In 1926, the name Baby Gays was expanded to Q-Tips Baby Gays, and later the Baby Gays part of the name was dropped.

What Does Q-Tips Mean?

The Q in Q tip stands for quality, and tips refers to the cotton ends.