Grocery Warehouse with Oxydol Laundry Soap, 1942
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Posted on 01 Nov 2017 05:02

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In this photo from July 1942, a warehouse worker for a grocery store distribution company is filling an order for a local store in the Washington, D.C. area. Behind him are stacked many boxes marked Oxydol. The box he is carrying on his shoulder appears to be Duz soap.

Worker in grocery warehouse, Washington D.C. Juley 1942.

Worker filling order for local store in grocery store distribution warehouse,
Washington, D.C., 1942

To download larger copies, visit LOC

Worker in grocery warehouse, Washington D.C. Juley 1942.

Worker filling order for local store in grocery store distribution warehouse,
Washington, D.C., 1942

To download larger copies, visit LOC

Oxydol and Duz: Soap Opera Soups

Both Oxydol and Duz were Proctor & Gamble products. The Oxydol was a washing soap for clothes and dishes which is still sold today under new ownership. It was the first laundry detergent marketed by Proctor and Gamble, introduced in 1927. Like Duz, this was actually the "soap" behind some of the first soap operas, as a sponsor of the Ma Perkins radio show, in 1933. The soap was also a sponsor of many radio news programs. Segments would often be voiced by the "Sparkle Girl" who talked about how sparkling white your clothes would be, not to mention your dishes. Later on, Ivory soap became a primary sponsor of such programs.

Proctor & Gamble introduced Tide in 1949, a new type of non-soapy detergent that quickly overtook Oxydol and other such products in sales. Although P&G was still selling Oxydol in 2000, it was on very few shelves. Today, the Oxydol Laundry Detergent brand has been bought by a company called Redox, who have marketed it as a much stronger high-end detergent.

Oxydol did something quite new in the laundry soap world. One of its claims to superiority was that the company put bleach in the product. The bleach crystals mixed into the soap, however, weren't easy to see. It looked like any other laundry soap. How was one to tell? So, P&G put some of the crystals with green dye. Now, you could see the difference. This also made it look different than any other detergent. It became the leading detergent for a very long time afterward and today, colored detergents are the norm. The colors, however, still do nothing to help clean your clothes.

The Duz Free Gift

Boxes of Duz detergent were famous for coming with quite useful free gifts, such as china dishes with a golden wheat pattern, striped towels, and glasses. During the 1950's it was possible to acquire an entire set of Golden Wheat china by buying boxes of Duz. Many of these China sets, as well as numerous free Duz glasses, still exist today. You can view the china pattern here.

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