singin sam

Windex • S. C. Johnson

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windex_originalSome time ago, trying to be helpful, I offered to clean my buddy’s stove top.  After scraping off six years of burnt pan overflows, and scrubbing what a paint scraper missed, it was time for finishing touches.  Windex® and a clean towel.  Gonna bring his stovetop back to factory specifications!

“It’s under the sink”, I’m told.  Well, there was a spray bottle of purple stuff imageslabeled Glass Cleaner.  It did nothing to remove residue and grease.  Discount cleaner strikes out.  Purple water without a trace of ammonia or isopropyl alcohol.  Sold for a buck.  Not worth one thin dime.

Never do I buy a glass cleaner unless it is the original.  Windex®.  Proprietary formula and all that industrial secrets stuff cannot be imitated.  I’ve concocted a close imitation, but it does not hit the high mark S.C. Johnson has established.  The inimitable go-to cleaning product trusted by generations.  Often copied, never duplicated.

In 1933 Harry R. Drackett invented “Windex” as nearly 100% solvent.  ATB loves harsh chemicals to get a job right, but the Sam Wise formula patented after WW II is what we currently come to love as Windex.  And non-toxic biodegradable formulas?  Whole Foods and Trader Joe can keep that foo-foo stuff.  If you want to clean glass instead of smearing around dirt, go to the original.  Windex®


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Barbasol Original 10ozUnconsciously I became brand-loyal.  Reaching for the same spice or salt, shoes and tires, buying habits formed decades ago influence every day.  Particularly loyal to my shaving cream, I’ve found anything else, at twice the price, does not compare with Barbasol.

Who has not heard of Barbasol ?  In the 1930s, after the Raytheon Tube put a radio in everyman’s home,  America would be familiar with Singin’ Sam the Barbasol Man.  “Barbasol, Barbasol … No brush, no lather, no rub-in … Wet your razor, then begin.”   Actors, sports figures, even NASCAR has advertised for Barbasol.

Shaving is not rocket science.  Lather up, scrape face, rinse, done.  But in 1919, the process was forever changed by MIT Professor Frank Shields.   In Indianapolis, Indiana, Frank started a company to sell the cream he invented.  A scientist who understood the big picture, because I still buy only Barbasol.  For the price?  Sure.  Mostly for the quality, though.