Mum (deodorant)

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Mum was the first brand of commercial deodorant. Containing a zinc compound as its active ingredient, it was developed and patented by an inventor in Philadelphia in 1888 whose name has been lost to history.[1] It was named for the term "mum" meaning "to keep silent" as in the popular phrase "Mum's the word" [1] Mum was originally sold as a cream in a jar and applied with the fingertips. The small company was bought by Bristol-Myers in 1931.

Branding as "Ban"[edit]

In the late 1940s, an employee (Helen Diserens) developed an applicator based on the newly invented ball-point pen.[1] In 1952, the company began marketing the product under the name Ban Roll-On.[1] In 1958, the product was launched in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations as Mum Rollette.[1]

The product was briefly withdrawn from the market in the United States,[1] but is again widely available. [2] It is popular in Australia, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Venezuela. In the Philippines, it was sold in the 1970s and 1980s but has since been withdrawn.

Ban is now owned by Kao Corporation.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Joey Green (2004) Joey Green's Incredible Country Store: Potions, Notions, and Elixirs of the Past--And How to Make Them Today, Rodale Press ISBN 1-57954-848-2
  2. ^ "Where To Buy". Ban. Retrieved April 1, 2011. 

External links[edit]