Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Joy In A Bottle

Joy in a bottle, huh? Are we sure this isn't an ad for sherry or brandy or something? Maybe the ad lady had a little nip before she spotted the bottle of dishwashing liquid. It would explain a lot, I think.

Dishwashing and magic are not words I like to use together, not even with a bottle of dish soap (as we call it in Canada) in my hand. I mean, sometimes - very occasionally - I enjoy doing dishes because the activity kind of helps me think about things like writing. But mostly I don't. And even at the best of times I don't grin and hold up the bottle of dish soap (or the odd glass or pan) like I was madly in love with it or about to take a bite out of it.

But they'd never make an ad featuring me slouching over the sink with my glasses steamed over, scrubbing lentil curry off a pot, looking absent-minded.

Before liquid dish soap people used soap flakes (the "anything in a box" that Joy is beating) or, before those were sold, you grated up whatever bar soap was hanging around the kitchen. Chiffon, Lux and Ivory were among the soap flakes brands you could buy in the 30s and 40s.

The Swan Soap ad is from 1943, and makes much of the
fact that you could use Swan for everything - bathing, doing dishes, and washing your clothes. Actually, that sounds all right. Frugal, too.

Joy dishwashing liquid was first advertised in the US in 1949 and was noted both for its lemon scent and the fact that it would be easier on your hands than soap flakes. Joy was also an early sponsor of the sudsy radio dramas which became known as (you guessed it) soap operas: something to listen to while you did all those dishes.

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