20 Mule Team Borax

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
20 Mule Team Borax
Borax-20MuleTeam-7860c.jpg
20muleteam.png
Launch year 1891
Company Dial Corporation
Availability yes
Current supplier Dial Corporation
20 Mule Team in Death Valley

20 Mule Team Borax is a brand of cleaner manufactured by the US soap firm Dial Corporation, a subsidiary of the German consumer product firm Henkel.[1] The product is named after the 20-mule teams that were used by William Tell Coleman's company to move borax out of Death Valley, California, to the nearest rail spur between 1883 and 1889.

History[edit]

20-mule teams were first used by Francis Marion Smith to move borax out of the desert.[2][3] Smith subsequently acquired Coleman's holdings in 1890 and consolidated them with his own to form the Pacific Coast Borax Company. After the mule teams were replaced by a new rail spur, the name 20 Mule Team Borax was established and aggressively promoted by Pacific Coast Borax to increase sales.

Stephen Mather, son of J. W. Mather, the administrator of the company's New York office, persuaded Smith to add the name 20 Mule Team Borax to accompany the famous sketch of the mule team already on the box. The 20-mule team symbol was first used in 1891 and registered in 1894. In 1988, just over 20 years after the acquisition of U.S. Borax by Rio Tinto Group, the Boraxo, Borateem and 20-Mule Team product lines were sold to Dial Corporation by U.S. Borax.[4]

Dial is now the American consumer products unit of Henkel.

Radio and television[edit]

The Pacific Coast Borax Company sponsored Death Valley Days, a radio and television anthology dramatizing true stories of the old American West, particularly the Death Valley area. The program was created in 1930 by Ruth Woodman and broadcast on radio until 1945.

From 1952 to 1975, Death Valley Days was produced as a syndicated television series. One of Ronald Reagan's final television roles was host of Death Valley Days in 1964-65. Reagan also acted in some episodes. The show was sponsored primarily by Pacific Coast Borax Company, which later became U.S. Borax. The previous host was the "Old Ranger" (Stanley Andrews), and, after Reagan's departure for politics and eventual U.S. Presidency, hosts included Robert Taylor and Dale Robertson. Actress Rosemary DeCamp was featured for many years in product advertising for 20 Mule Team laundry products. Today, the product is endorsed by Linda Cobb, the "Queen of Clean."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hildebrand, G. H. (1982) "Borax Pioneer: Francis Marion Smith." San Diego: Howell-North Books. ISBN 0-8310-7148-6
  2. ^ Hildebrand, G. H. (1982) "Borax Pioneer: Francis Marion Smith." San Diego: Howell-North Books. ISBN 0-8310-7148-6
  3. ^ "American Borax Production" Scientific American September 22, 1877
  4. ^ Rio Tinto Borax: About Borax : History

External links[edit]