W.F. Young, Inc. Celebrates 115 Years as an Industry Leader and Innovator

Maker of Absorbine® Products Continues a Tradition of Excellence Started in 1892
June 01, 2007

East Longmeadow, MA (June 1, 2007)—Few companies in the equine industry can match W. F. "anniversay_logo"Young, Inc.’s Absorbine® for either brand recognition or customer loyalty in the marketplace. An industry leader in multiple product categories, the company’s success started with its flagship product, Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment, in 1892. Founded in that year by Wilbur Fenlon Young and his wife Mary Ida, W. F. Young, Inc. is still a family-owned business with a strong tradition of quality and a commitment to developing new and innovative products in both the horse and human health markets.

“We’re extremely proud to be celebrating our 115th anniversary as a family-owned and operated organization,” said Tyler F. Young, President and CEO of W. F. Young, Inc. and the fourth generation of the Young family to lead the company, “Over the century we’ve been in business our customers have come to trust the Absorbine brand and that’s not something we take lightly. We strive to maintain that trust by offering only the most innovative and high-quality products that provide real value to horse enthusiasts.”

W. F. Young, Inc. began with a liniment recipe created by Mary Ida Young. An amateur horticulturist, Mary Ida developed her all-natural formula because she disliked the harsh chemicals that were used at the time to treat soreness and lameness in horses. Her husband Wilbur used the product on the horse he drove while delivering pianos for the Wilcox and White company. As word spread about how effective their liniment was, Wilbur and Mary Ida soon had so many orders that they set up a bathtub in their kitchen to mix enough of the product to meet demand.

In 1892, Wilbur founded W. F. Young, Inc. with a $500 loan from his father, who called him a “darned fool” for starting a business that depended on horses—which were rapidly being replaced by the automobile. Company lore maintains that one of the stipulations of the loan was that Wilbur was required to add “Pa’s Darned Fool” to his signature—thereby explaining the “P.D.F.” that subsequently appeared after his name in company documents. However, his endeavor proved to be far from foolish—in just a few years, Absorbine liniment was sold worldwide and manufactured at a state-of-the-art facility in Springfield, MA.

Not long after the introduction of the Veterinary Liniment, the Youngs realized that people were buying the product for themselves as much as for their horses. They developed Absorbine Jr.® as an external analgesic and antiseptic, which quickly became a household name. Due to the product’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, W. F. Young also sold Absorbine Jr. as a treatment for microorganism infections due to “athlete’s foot”— a term developed by W. F. Young in the 1940s.

Though the company is the one of the largest marketers of horse care products in the world, W.F. Young’s philosophy focuses on creating a partnership with consumers—a legacy that can be attributed to the company’s roots as a family business that depended on the reputation of a single product to develop customer loyalty. Today, that strategy continues to guide the company and its leaders even as they develop innovative new offerings to add to their extensive equine products portfolio.

“We maintain a long-view approach to research and development that supports our dedication to the equine market,” said Young. “We’ve experienced impressive sales growth for the past ten years, which has helped to solidify our leadership position within this industry. Our strength as a small, privately held company is a testament to the family- and community-oriented approach that started with Wilbur F. Young. Today we strive to be the best virtual marketing company in our respective industries. We build brands that help to provide a healthy lifestyle for active families and their pets.”

W.F. Young, Inc. is a marketer of many top equine brands, including ShowSheen® Hair Polish and Detangler, UltraShield® Insecticide and Repellant, Hooflex® and Horseman’s One Step® Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. Based on the same formula as Absorbine Veterinary Liniment, Absorbine Jr. is one of the best-selling liquid external analgesic products in the United States and is marketed worldwide. For a dealer near you or for more information, visit www.absorbine.com.