I own a number of old magazines, among them a Ladies Home Journal from August 1938. I find the advertisements as interesting as the articles. This week I thought I’d post a couple ads about Pepsodent© toothpaste, along with a brief history for anyone who likes to read or write in this time period.
Pepsodent© was a popular brand of toothpaste back in the mid-20th century. Its early history is sketchy, but it may have started as a dentrifice in powder form, eventually taking on paste form. It was advertised to fight tooth decay and whiten teeth.
Pepsodent© was well-known for its minty flavor derived from sassafras. Its key ingredients were irium and I.M.P.
Irium is sodium lauryl sulphate, a detergent commonly found in toothpastes and other products today. (You may be familiar with the claims that it has poisonous properties.) Lauryl sulphate foams, which was a plus because it made people feel as if it was really working. Claims were that the foam helped carry away debris. Lauryl sulphate also has antibacterial properties.
I.M.P. was supposed to whiten teeth, but what it stands for remains unknown.