Brusha, Brusha, Brusha

Anyone who is nearing the age of dirt now has a tune running through his or her head. If the memory is still intact, a vision of a buck-toothed beaver is sitting firmly in the middle of the mind’s eye.

To assist the younger readers, and remind the older folks of how easily we were once entertained, let’s take a moment for a commercial.

From information available on the Internet, Ipana lost so much of its market share that it was discontinued sometime in the 1970s. However, there’s good news for those who loved it – it’s available today… in Turkey. Perhaps you can find a company to ship some to your home.

Last week I had a post about things that were available in the old days. I debunked a number of items on the list simply because they’re still around. So I’ve done a bit of research to locate products that have definitely disappeared from the American scene.

My research consisted of trying to remember things… like clothes poles – that may still be in use by folks who either don’t believe in using a machine to dry their clothes, or live deep in the woods where there is no electricity to run that newfangled machine. I then did a Google search to see what I could learn about the products. In a number of cases, I was surprised to learn that certain items were still on the market… just difficult to find. I guess that’s what makes ‘specialty shops’ so special!

For example, Lava – the hand soap made with pumice, Lifebuoy – the first deodorant soap, Old Dutch Cleanser, 20 Mule Team Borax, and Phillip’s canned soups are still being sold.

While Carter’s Little Liver Pills were heavily marketed into the 1960s, they were forced to undergo a transformation. The government pointed out that the pills had nothing to do with the liver; the name changed to Carter’s Little Pills, and their sales dropped more than a little. However, I believe the pills are still available… without the liver.

People who lived in Western Pennsylvania may remember when the H.J. Heinz Company made condensed soups to compete with Campbell’s. The fact that people don’t absolutely remember illustrates why Heinz soups are no longer being sold – in the United States. The condensed soups are, in fact, available in the United Kingdom as well as a few other countries around the world.

Heinz made one other major effort to sell soups in the U.S. They even hired Stan Freberg to help promote their product. Come to think of it, they even brought in a popular actress and dancer of the time – Ann Miller.

The thoughts of soup led me to thinking about chicken soup as a remedy for whatever ailed me as a child. Now there’s a phrase that seems to have gone the way of the Atlantic gas stations. “That’s good for what ails you!” is something my mom told me more than once.

American business had a number of products for whatever was ailing middle-aged and senior citizens. One of them was Serutan, which was designed to turn all of us into ‘regular’ people.

If you were watching Lawrence Welk in that video, you may have noticed that Geritol paid a bit extra and managed to get a sign permanently positioned over Lawrence’s head. They were also aiming their product to whatever ailed older folks.

How many remember Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour?

Obviously it would take many pages to discuss all the television and radio shows that have gone away over the years. Some of them shouldn’t have ever seen the light of the air waves, but many more have left warm spots in our hearts.

Getting back to other products, there is one more that bit the dust some time ago. When it comes to harmony, the commercials for Ajax – the foaming cleanser – were among the best.

While Ajax is not longer being marketed as a cleanser for the home, it is sold as a commercial cleaning product. Evidently, there is a whole line of commercial cleaning products that bear the name of “Ajax”.

My list of products to Google contains a few more entries, but I had to stop my research in order to finish this post. Perhaps someone out there can fill me in on the following: Westinghouse and Hot Point home appliances; the Railway Express Agency; Bull Durham – roll your own cigarettes; Howard Johnson motels and restaurants; Palmolive soap; Sinclair gasoline; and H. Salt Seafood restaurants.

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One Response to Brusha, Brusha, Brusha

  1. Ivan G. says:

    I don’t think HoJo is in the restaurant game anymore, but their hotels continue to thrive. We have one here in Athens.

    I wish they still had the restaurants, though. I use to love their hot dogs–or “frankfurters,” as they were advertised on the menu.

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