I’m sure many of our “baby boomer” friends will remember the soap ads from the 1950s and 60s. Clean was big business then, clean was beautiful, and nobody wanted to stink. B.O. (body odor) was a hot topic thanks to decades of marketing.
Dial wasn’t the first “deodorant” soap, but it was the first one that didn’t smell like turpentine or paint thinner – oh, I’m talkin’ “Lifebuoy.” Lifebuoy, originally made by Lever Bros. (now Unilever) in England, has been around since 1895. The smell was phenol, a compound made with carbolic acid extracted from coal tar. To fight B.O. you could instead smell like an auto body repair shop.
Dial, named for its “round-the-clock” anti-B.O. protection (from perspiration), was introduced in 1948 by Armour Co. (yes, the meat-packers) in Chicago. Armour had made tallow-based laundry soap since 1888. With the help of some clever chemists, Armour added hexachlorophene, or G-11 or AT-7. How about those numbers? Continue reading “A Good Clean Kill, And Other Beauty Secrets”