Which brands were used on board

  • Thread starter Klemen Michael Podlipnik Windsor
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Klemen Michael Podlipnik Windsor


I was researching a little but didnt finnd any good answers. I am wondering what shampoo,toothpaste, creams... used on the Titanic or at that time? I know about Vinolia soap. I was wondering if someone can tell the company names and if they still produce their products. As I heard Vinolia isnt the same as it used to be, also didnt find the company internet site.

Thank you for all the information

Klemen Michael Podlipnik Windsor

[Moderator's note: This post, originally posted in an unrelated topic has been moved to the one which is discussing the same subject. JDT]
Hello Klemen.
You're looking in the wrong place, it's easily done. Go to Discussions / Topics on the Message Board menu. There are two topics full of threads about this sort of stuff. It'll take a bit of searching around in the threads, but it's interesting anyway. What you want is the Gilded Age topic, and/or Life On Board.

Scott Mills

Re: coca-cola. Yes, cocaine has been removed from coca-cola. Otherwise the product would be highly illegal just about everywhere. This happened in the 30s I think.

What is not known is that coca leaves are still used to flavor coke. There is one legal importer of cocaine in the US, they import the leaves, distribute them to pharmaceutical companies who use the leaves and extract the "cocaine" (it's legal as a prescription drug), send the cocaineless leaves back to the importer, who sells them to coca-cola.

Incidentally coca-cola is the largest purchaser of (legal) coca leaves in the world.
In addition to Vinolia, familiar brands found on Titanic might have been:

- Colgate toothpaste, then known as Colgate Ribbon Dental Cream, first sold in collapsible tubes in 1896.
- Fairy Soap, which might have been provided to Second and Third Class passengers in lieu of the First Class's Vinolia. Fairy began as an American brand, but quickly became one of the U.K.'s favorites, surviving there to this day, long after it was discontinued on the American side of the pond. Sunlight Soap, normally thought of nowadays as a household soap, might also have been a Third-Class choice; it was usable for bathing purposes at the time. America's favorite, Ivory Soap, was available at the time, but inasmuch as Titanic was provisioned in the U.K., it would seem to be less likely to have been aboard than British brands.
- Listerine might have been present in the luggage of some passengers; it was available only through dentists in 1912, though over-the-counter sales would begin two years later.
- A well-preserved Gillette razor has been recovered from the debris field, I understand.
- Johnson's Baby Powder was around then, and was quite popular with ladies; it relieved some of the skin irritation associated with corsets (my own great-grandmother used it for this purpose, though corsets had become girdles by that time). Djer-Kiss Talcum (still around until recent years) was used for the same purpose.
- Cashmere Bouquet (don't laugh; it was a luxury brand then) talcum powder was also around at the time.
- Guerlain's Jicky perfume had been around for years, becoming a favorite of upper-class younger women, and the house's L'Heure Bleue had recently been introduced.
- Schweppes Tonic Water might well have been stocked in the bars.
- Angostura Bitters were likely found in the bars as well; they were a frequent component of the day's cocktail recipes.
- Peychaud's Bitters might have also been stocked as an accommodation to the American passengers targeted by White Star Line; Peychaud's was a key component of the Sazerac cocktail, often cited as the first American cocktail.
- Four Roses bourbon was another possible bar choice, again because of White Star's American custom.
- Piper-Heidsieck's Monopole Blue Top Brut is known to have been White Star's usual Champagne. It is a high-value Champagne, not as costly as many, but decently well-able to compete with most.
- Pernod absinthe was a popular aperitif at the time, though it was banned in the U.S. beginning in 1915, and would not be available again for nearly a century.
- Any ship announcing its dinners with a rendition of The Roast Beef of Old England would definitely have had mustard aboard, and I like to imagine that White Star's choice was Keen's, because the Royal Exchange near the Keen's factory had chimes that played the tune. However, Colman's Mustard could well have been the choice, too.
- Pond's Cold Cream, known then as "Pond's Healing" or "Pond's Vanishing" cream, was an established favorite with ladies of a certain age who preferred to keep their ages UN-certain.
Decades ago (when YOUNG, Sandy) I once went in for a competition run by Pond's Cold Cream. You had to complete a tie-breaker - "I shall try Pond's 7-Day Beauty Plan because ...." My (male) cousin suggested "... because I've only got 8 days to live." Needless to say, we didn't win. But I still think it was quite good really.
But come on, Sandy. All those brands connected with ghastly but less mentionable or memorable problems ... Carter's Little Liver Pills, Collis-Browne's Chlorodyne, Doan's Backache Tablets, Sloan's Liniment, Zambuk, Gee's Linctus, Rendell's Tablets etc. Half of them actually worked because they contained stuff we're not allowed to buy now (morphine derivatives etc), and the rest were hilarious rubbish. Figuring out which was which wouldn't have been easy, though. I remember these ancient and dying brands from the 1960s as a child, when my father was a pharmacist. "Dear God," he used to mutter, as he de-listed another item from stock, on the grounds that old ladies were drinking up to 3 bottles of Gee's Linctus a day.
Monica: Yes, that sort of thing happened here, too. In my day (when YOUNG!), it was a patent potion known as Hadacol, which was sold as a B-vitamin-enriched "tonic," but which contained 12 percent alcohol - strictly for purposes of preserving all those precious B-vitamins, you understand. Well, 12 percent alcohol is 24 proof, about the strength of, say, a rum and Coke, which made many a lad and lassie living in America's "dry" counties where liquor could not legally be sold very happy indeed. The entrepreneur who created the stuff made over five million dollars in one early-'50s year before our Food and Drug Administration clamped down on him.

I always snicker when Carter's Little Liver Pills are mentioned, because they were not, as is often supposed, a nostrum for anything to do with one's liver. They were made of liver! At least one would have gotten some iron and some B-vitamins out of taking them.

And there was the chlorophyll craze of the early 1950s, where drug and cosmetic manufacturers pitched chlorophyll as a "miracle" odor-killing ingredient. There was chlorophyll toothpaste, chlorophyll mouthwash, deodorant, gum - you name it. The bubble burst when some unusually thoughtful soul - more immune to advertisers' blandishments than most - pointed out that goats practically live on chlorophyll, and stink to high Heaven.

It's no different today; people who use home tooth-whitening kits are finding out that their tooth enamel is eroding away, exactly like happened with the patent dentifrice Sozodont back when Titanic was the newest wonder of the world. Nothing ever really changes, eh?
My son.Will and I are fascinated by Titanic. There are many internet sites that sell Vinola soap. The best bet would be the Vermont Country Store website or mail.order catalog. They are a reputable company. en+?j
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