June 17, 2011
I like the way these men’s hair care bottles originally had matching embossed skirts & caps. The company’s founder, Fred W. Fitch, started out as a barber, so the slanting, slightly helical pattern is probably meant to evoke: barber pole.
And, as was so often the custom in those days, these bottles were, themselves, packaged in a carton. I like the concentric exclamatory graphics on the box.
In 1946 Fitch’s advertising ran afoul of FTC.
In 1892, Frederick W. Fitch was a barber in Madrid, Iowa (pop. 565). His shampoo became so popular that he quit barbering to make “Fitch’s Dandruff Remover Shampoo.” By last year, his company had annual sales of $11,000,000. The advertising that did the trick: “Fitch Shampoo removes every trace of dandruff on first application.”
Last week, after 54 years of such advertising, the Federal Trade Commission decided that it was “false and misleading.” Reason: it made the public believe that “dandruff is an abnormal condition.” The truth, according to FTC: “Dandruff is a physiologically normal condition . . . and cannot be removed permanently through the use of any cleansing agent.”
Fitch Won’t Save It
Monday, June 10, 1946
(“Fitch Shampoo Airport” after the fold…)
“Fitch Shampoo Airport” punch-out premium (via: Hakes)
I thought this piece of late 1940s Fitch ephemera was pertinent, since the whole purpose of the landfill project was to create the “Floyd Bennett Field” municipal airport.
And it was at the edge of this landfill, walking distance from the airport’s old hanger buildings, that our uncapped Fitch’s bottle was found. (Conceivably, some “Fitch Shampoo Airports” might have also have wound up in the landill, although they’d be unlikely to survive immersion in Dead Horse Bay.)
Photo of Floyd Bennett Field in 1934 from Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields
Beach Packaging Design