|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2007)|
Mr Sheen is a brand of cleaning materials (chiefly floor and furniture polish) created in Australia in the 1950s by Samuel Taylor Pty Ltd. It was the first aerosol] cleaning product available on the Australian market and helped introduce the use of aerosol products into Australia. The product moved to a British company Reckitt & Colman in 1969 when Samuel Taylor Pty Ltd was bought out. It is available in many other countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Jamaica.
The Australian television advertisements use the character of Mr Sheen, a smiling, rosy-cheeked, bald man with spectacles in a dark suit. The British version is a cartoon caricature of a First World War biplane pilot (originally voiced by Willie Rushton) who flies around the house on a dusting cloth cleaning tables, banisters and television sets, using the slogan "Mr Sheen shines umpteen things clean". Another slogan (sung as a jingle) was "Clean wax and polish as you dust with Mr Sheen". This jingle was patterned on the famous vaudeville song/sketch Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean; while it is likely the name Mr Sheen was also inspired by this song, and the fortuitous connection between sheen and cleanliness, it is unknown at this point whether there is a causal connection or not.
This character came about from a children’s competition in 1977 in a national newspaper, for children to design a new character for their new Mr Sheen cartoon. The competition resulted in thousands of entries, where one successful winner came up with the WWI flying air man, who flies around the house in his aeroplane cleaning as he goes. The winner was young John M Gerrard from Warley in the West Midlands who won first prize with his successful design. Although Gerrard has no copyrights to the cartoon character. The character is still successful today and is still shown on all polish containers and TV advertising.
Mr Sheen furniture polish is also a degreaser, and is often used for these properties by motorcyclists.