Mum was the first brand of commercial deodorant. Containing a zinc compound as its active ingredient, it was developed and patented by an inventor in Philadelphia in 1888 whose name has been lost to history. It was named for the term 'mum' meaning 'to keep silent'. Mum was originally sold as a cream in a jar and applied with the fingertips. The small company was bought by Bristol-Myers in 1931.In the late 1940s, an employee (Helen Diserens) developed an applicator based on the newly invented ball-point pen. In 1952, the company began marketing the product under the name Ban Roll-On. In 1958 the product was launched in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations as Mum Rollette.
Contributions by Mike hayes, Derondantzler, and Herostratus.