A Cautionary Tale For All Brands

MaltexThere is a good chance that today’s brands won’t be tomorrow’s brands.

This came up because at a recent family dinner, folks came up with a list of brands that are mostly forgotten, but were well-known in their time.

Here is the list. Some are still around.

  1. Maltex was a cereal brand founded in 1899. Started in Burlington, Vermont, it was one of many wheat cereal brands that evolved when the U.S. moved from an agrarian to a consumer society.  The brand is still made by Homestat Farm, makers of those other wonderful cereal brands, Maypo and Wheatena.
  2. Irradol A was apparently a molasses like vitamin syrup given to children that was made by Parke-Davis. I couldn’t find anything else out about it.
  3. Argyrol is one of the more fascinating brands that was mentioned. It is a substance used on skin as a germ killer. FlitArgyrol was the drug that made the fortune that created the Barnes Foundation, the museum that was pillaged by annoying civic booster types in Philadelphia. The current Argyrol website promotes interesting uses for the silver-based drug, including putting it in the urethra for treatment for STDs. Ouch! An old PDR says it is an “antimicrobial agent for treatment of infections of mucous membranes of eye, ear, nose, throat and G.U. tract. Effective against a wide range of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.”
  4. Flit, the bug killer, made by Standard Oil’s Stanco. Flit was famous for its magazine ad campaign thSal Hepaticaat was drawn by Dr. Seuss. It came with an atomizer to shoot the spray at the bugs. The slogan became a catch phrase; it was “Quick, Henry, the Flit.” Apparently, the brand survives in another permethrin-based formulation by another company, Clarke.
  5. Sal Hepatica was Bristol-Myers laxative that promoted that it combated gastric acidity, too. How convenient.


  • Garland Pollard

    J. Garland Pollard IV is editor/publisher of BrandlandUSA. Since 2006, the website BrandlandUSA.com has chronicled the history and business of America’s great brands.

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