How Colgate, the Famous Minty Goop, Found Its Way Onto Your Toothbrush

Helping Americans achieve romantic success for 141 years

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Sometime around 1892, a Connecticut dentist named Washington Sheffield—who'd introduced toothpaste to America in 1850—received a letter from his son, Lucius. While studying art in Paris, Lucius had watched realist painters squeezing their oils out of tin tubes and thought the container would be a novel way for his father to package his own product. The dentist agreed and began selling his Doctor Sheffield's Crème Dentifrice in tubes.

It's a great story of American innovation, and the reason nobody much remembers it is because, four years after Sheffield's dispenser debuted, a more established brand of toothpaste out of New York adopted the tube.



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