1930's and 1940's Household Products

Discussion in 'Skills and Smarts' started by Fleur de vanité, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. buelligan

    buelligan One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    109
    Location:
    London, OH
    In the "Lustron" homes of the 50's (Pre-fab all metal homes made with porcelain enameled steel) they had an interesting gizmo made by Thor that was both a dishwasher and a clothes washer. All you had to do is add or remove a rack designed to hold your dishes. I've heard it didn't work very well. Here's an excerpt from a Wikipedia link:
    Automagic washer/dishwasher[edit]
    In the 1940s, Thor introduced the Automagic hybrid washer/dishwasher. The top-loading machine included both a removable clothes washing drum and a dish-washing drum. The Automagic was widely marketed but disappeared from the marketplace soon after its introduction, as many consumers soured to the idea of washing dirty clothing and dishes in the same machine.[5]
     
  2. philosophygirl78

    philosophygirl78 A-List Customer

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    A Well Bucket.
     
  3. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

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    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I love this thread & have learned so much already. For the past few years I've been researching golden-era cleaning products. One of my side-hobbies is to retro-fit my entire house to the late 30s / early 40s, which means finding period containers & using period products and techniques. As was pointed out earlier, many of the brands are still being produced, and it's relatively easy to find period containers. I've been using diluted lysol, bleach, and ammonia (again, as stated, be careful not to mix.) The scouring cleansers have been around for ever. My Grandmother had little containers of sand, washing soda (which I use all the time to clean the counter tops etc) and soap near her stove, but I think those weren't as popular on this side of the Atlantic.

    I found a 1940s Windex spray bottle (glass with a metal pump) which is a joy to use. It's small and fits in the hand easily, and the pump is much more pleasant to operate than the new plastic spray bottles. I just refill it from a larger container.

    For me, it's just a fun hobby to see how far I can go to make my house & cupboards look period-correct, but I've discovered that I save money & probably use more environmentally friendly products. There's certainly a lot less packaging waste, since I buy economy-size bottles & refill the period containers. And it all looks so great when I open my under-sink cabinet and see all those cute containers and labels.
     
  4. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I have one of those Windex sprayers as well. The sprayer cap itself was so popular that it was also sold seperately, as an individually boxed accessory. The box carries a 1936 copyright date, and as far as I've been able to tell, this was the first hand-spray-bottle type of arrangement to be widely sold in the US.
     
  5. emigran

    emigran Practically Family

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    Surprised no one mentioned
    Bon Ami.. cleanser with the little chick on the red an yellow container...

    had to edit there ewas only one chick not three...
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  6. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    My grandmother used that religiously.
     
  7. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

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    The women in my family all had hardwood floors in their houses and they all had electric polishers to maintain them.

    A machine like a vacuum but with 2 rotating buffers on the bottom. You could use them to apply paste wax. When the wax was dry change the buffers and polish the wax. They even made steel wool pads for stripping wax.

    You use them with a can of paste wax, Simoniz and Johnson were the most popular brands.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

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    Sapolio was a very popular, or at least well advertised soap. It was around for many years then suddenly disappeared. Wonder what happened.
     
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Sapolio might have been the most famous commercial product in the world at the turn of the century -- its "Spotless Town" advertising campaign was one of the earliest big successes for the Boys From Marketing, and it's impossible to overstate how ubiquitous it was -- magazine ads, trolley cards, gigantic billboards on the sides of buildings, on the sides of mountains, along railroads, anywhere you could plaster an ad, there was an ad for Sapolio.

    [​IMG]

    But the public got tired of the campaign around the time of World War I, and as sales dropped off, Procter and Gamble bought out the company and turned Sapolio into one of their third-rank products. It was advertised briefly on radio in the mid-thirties, when there was a nostalgia fad for the gay-90s/turn of the century era, and the "Spotless Town" rhymes were dusted off for that campaign, but by the end of the decade Sapolio had gone back to the bottom shelf, and disappeared altogether from the US market by the end of the forties.

    Procter and Gamble finally sold off the brand to a South American company about twenty years ago, and it's now one of the biggest names in cleaning products in Peru. But I don't think the Peruvians know anything about "Spotless Town."
     
  10. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    How funny is that. Over a hundred years later and it's a success in Peru - who would have guessed that happening? Truth really is stranger than fiction.
     
  11. St. Louis

    St. Louis Practically Family

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    Actually it's not that unusual. I believe Ipana toothpaste is still being manufactured and sold in Turkey today, though it has disappeared completely in the U.S. It seems to have been a highly popular brand, judging by the fact that Ipana ads appear in every issue of every golden-era magazine I've ever seen. If I knew anyone from Turkey I would beg them to bring back a tube for me!

    Also, the original formula of Pond's Cold Cream (which is a brilliant product) is only available in Mexico now. The cream you can buy in modern drugstores has carcinogenic & skin-clogging ingredients. Some people can use it without ill effect, but many get breakouts from the formaldehyde-based formula. The original 7-ingredient formula was developed some time in the early 20th century, but was changed to an unpronounceable chemical formula to save costs. One of my biggest disappointments. Again, if I knew anyone who traveled to Mexico regularly I'd ask them to bring back a jar for me.
     
    Fading Fast likes this.
  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I wonder if it's still the same product. The original Bristol-Myers Ipana had a very distinctive wintergreen flavor that was unlike any other toothpaste -- none of that sickening-sweet peppermint stuff.

    Fun fact: Ipana originally contained ipecac, the well-known vomit-inducing drug which was used for its bacteriological properties until too many customers swallowed the stuff and wondered why their breakfast came back up.
     
    St. Louis likes this.
  13. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    My (for the moment) house is 1920s, and the kitchen has a swinging door to the dining room, and there was once a regular door at the other end of the kitchen, where it joins the living room. Beside the kitchen/living room door is the entrance to the basement, which also had a door at one time. I always thought that was a lot of doors for one small room, but this explanation helps make sense of it. I wish the doors were still there as it would be super convenient to close the kitchen off at times.
     
  14. emigran

    emigran Practically Family

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    Bucky, Bucky Beaver... New Ipana Toothpaste... I remember the singing commercials...with scurrying beaver and the two giant front teeth!!!
     
  15. emigran

    emigran Practically Family

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    Location:
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    I can remember a "washing machine" looked like a porcelain barrel that stood on porcelain covered legs and had a circular detachable cover. Also a wooden "wringer" at the top on the rear edge. A long hooked hose from the sink would fill it and then also drain it after washing. I remember it shaking and sloshing like crazy and being told not to go near it...!!!
     
  16. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    11825221_10102555619380129_1145808660340963506_n.jpg
     
  17. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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  18. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
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  19. emigran

    emigran Practically Family

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    Lizzie... all I can say is WOW.. thanks for that one....!!!

    2Jakes ... those were really BIG Bucky Teeth... thank you Sir
     

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