Calgon

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Calgon
Coty Calgon logo.png
Product typeBath and beauty
OwnerPDC Brands
CountryUnited States
Introduced1930; 92 years ago (1930)
Previous ownersCalgon, Inc.
Merck & Co.
Websitewww.takemeaway.com

Calgon is an American brand of bath and beauty products, owned by PDC Brands.

Early history[edit]

The original product consisted of powdered sodium hexametaphosphate (amorphous sodium polyphosphate), which in water would complex with ambient calcium ions and certain other cations, preventing formation of unwanted salts and interference by those cations with the actions of soap or other detergents. Its name was a portmanteau derived from the phrase "calcium gone".[1] Originally promoted for general use in bathing and cleaning, it gave rise to derivative products which have diverged from the original composition. Today, Calgon water softener contains the active ingredient sodium citrate[2] and the now discontinued powder used zeolite and polycarboxylate, all of which are less problematic in wastewater treatment than phosphates.

Companies[edit]

The brands have their origin in Calgon, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which first put Calgon water softener on the market in 1933.[3] In 1965, Calgon was broken into:

  • Calgon bath and beauty products, sold to Coty, Inc., and then acquired by Ascendia Brands on 9 February 2007. Ilex Capital of Annapolis, Maryland purchased the product line and the rights to the name for $4.2 million in 2008. The brand's operations became part of Ilex Consumer Products Group LLC.[1] In 2013, private equity firm Yellow Wood acquired Ilex Consumer Products Group; Calgon is now part of their portfolio company, PDC Brands.[4][5]
  • Calgon Carbon Corporation, acquired by its management in a leveraged buyout in 1985 and taken public in 1987
  • Calgon Water Management, sold to English China Clays in June 1993 for $307.5 million[6]
  • Calgon Vestal Laboratories, sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb in November 1994 for $261.5 million[7] and then to the Steris Corporation in 1996[8]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The Calgon "Ancient Chinese Secret" commercial was referenced in the 1993 movie Wayne's World 2.
  • Indie band Clem Snide has a song titled "Ancient Chinese Secret Blues". The final lyrics of the song are "Calgon, take me away".[9]
  • The Futurama episode "A Leela of Her Own" (Season 3, Episode 16) contains a parody of the Calgon "Ancient Chinese Secret" commercial.[10]
  • Horrorcore rapper King Gordy heavily referenced this slogan in the song "Mrs. Calgon" on his 2011 album King Gordy Sings the Blues.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Walker, Andrea K. (June 22, 2010). "Calgon, take me away...again". The Baltimore Sun.
  2. ^ "CALGON® Water Softener - Liquid". www.rbnainfo.com. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
  3. ^ Trademark registration of "Calgon", U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  4. ^ "Yellow Wood Partners Purchases Ilex Consumer Products Group, Inc". Archived from the original on 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
  5. ^ "Our Investments". Archived from the original on 2016-10-26. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
  6. ^ "British Company Will Buy Calgon Unit From Merck". The New York Times. 12 June 1993. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  7. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; BRISTOL-MYERS TO BUY CALGON VESTAL FOR $261.5 MILLION". 4 November 1994. Retrieved 19 July 2016 – via NYTimes.com.
  8. ^ "Company Overview - Corporate - STERIS Corporation". Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Clem Snide - Ancient Chinese Secret Blues Lyrics". MetroLyrics. Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  10. ^ "How do you make the crust so fizzy?". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-22. Retrieved September 21, 2021.

External links[edit]