In 1923 Leo Gerstenzang observed his wife putting cotton swabs on the end of toothpicks. he like his wife's invention and created pre-made cotton swabs on a stick and marketed them as Baby Gays from his new company, the Leo Gerstenzang Infant Novelty Co. In 1926 Gerstenzang revised the name to Q-tips® Baby Gays eventually dropping the Baby Gay name and sticking with Q-tips®.
Product sales took off after WWII and in 1958 Q-tips® purchased Paper Sticks Ltd. of England, and incorporated paper sticks into Q-tips®. All this because a husband paid attention to his wife and knew a great idea when he saw it.