Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream Advertisement

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, September 12, 1913:  I’ve forgotten for today.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share a hundred-year-old ad for Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream that was in the March, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

1913 Colgate adCare of the teeth twice-a-day and every day is a good habit easily formed with Colgate’s.

COLGATE’S RIBBON DENTAL CREAM

DELICIOUS

ANTISEPTIC

ECONOMICAL

COMES OUT A RIBBON

LIES FLAT ON THE BRUSH

CANNOT ROLL OFF THE BRUSH

Its flavor is delicious—making its use a treat and insuring regularity.

Its antiseptic action is thorough—checking the germs which cause decay.

Its cleansing is safe—removing deposits and leaving the mouth non-acid without over-medication.

Every member of your household—man, woman and child—should have an individual tube.

Single tubes and boxes of half dozen at our dealer’s—or send us 2 cents for a trial tube and our booklet “Oral Hygiene.”

COLGATE & CO.

Dept. H

199 Fulton St., New York

Maker of Cashmere Bouquet Soap—luxurious, lasting, refined.

According to the Colgate website:

Colgate introduced its toothpaste in a tube similar to modern-day toothpaste tubes in the 1890s.

Until after 1945, toothpastes contained soap. After that time, soap was replaced by other ingredients to make the paste into a smooth paste or emulsion—such as sodium lauryl sulphate, a common ingredient in present-day toothpaste.

21 thoughts on “Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream Advertisement

  1. Marketing is fascinating. My question is, did they determine beforehand that “rolling off the toothbrush” was a problem people wanted handled by their next tube [oops – ribbon] of toothpaste? Or did they throw that in there hoping to sensationalize a problem people didn’t even realize they had? Gotta love it.

    1. When I was researching this post, I read something about soldiers being required to brush their teeth–and that they continued to do it when they came home (and they encouraged their family members to brush).

  2. I had my mouth washed out with soap a few times as a kid and didn’t like it one bit. Thanks for the bit of history and knowledge on Colgate!

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