Other than P&G scientist Teca Gillespie, one of the most amusing things to visit at the P&G labs in Cincinnati, Ohio is the company archive, a museum of past products and curiosities. There one will find the Ivory soap upon which the then-soap-and-candle company was founded in 1879, by William Procter and James Gamble. That groove you see down the bar's centre was to facilitate a break so half could be used for personal sudsing and the other could be used for cleaning house.
More fun than soap was The Clairol Beauty Game, which came out in 1969. Yup, a board game all about getting your hair did. Landing spots include $500 hair-dryer chairs and lose-$200 penalty squares such as "patron's husband dislikes new color," "juicy story distracts operator," and "rainy Saturday."
And it wasn't Glam-O-Rama all the time -- you had to know stuff to make play money. Orange Fortune squares meant answering a trivia question: "Who did pioneering work in radioactivity?" or "Who was the first woman to represent the United States in a major diplomatic post?"or "Who was the famous United States President's wife commonly called 'the First Lady of the World'?"
If you've ever doubted that today's boxed colour looks more natural than in the early days of dyed ’dos, take a gander at the poster above.
In the late '60s and early '70s Clairol had cosmetics too, designed to complement hair colour changes. We saw two lipsticks, but according to corporate archivist Lisa Mulvany, the line would have included palettes for the newly blonde, newly redhead, and so on.
And meet the original root touch up, a waxy crayon that folds down into a strangely coffin-like lipstick-size casing.
Wonder what today's beauty stuff will look like to archive tourists in a 100 years or so?