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©Copyright 2011, 2014 Eric Wrobbel



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Vintage package design of especially high quality. Crest toothpaste and Prell shampoo, both from Proctor & Gamble, circa 1960. No amount of typographic tricks like shadows, shading, or 3-D effects so evident on other packaging has ever improved on, or substituted for, simply good design. These box designs are honest, and by implication have honest products inside. From the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles, http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/bathroom-2.htm

One thing I notice is the complete lack of 3-D effects on these boxes. Nothing on them is pretending to be moving, jumping, exploding, or coming at you. They’re honest, and by implication have honest products inside. Contrast this with all the artifice seen on other packaging, then and now.

What drives designers, I think, to much of this artifice is a fear of looking plain and “generic.” This packaging looks neither. And the difference is design.

Bathroom collectibles: Spoolie, Listerine toothpaste, Secret Deodorant, Arrid Deodorant, Lucky Tiger Butch Hair Wax, Skinny Dip, Voit nose clip, Paris garters, Modern hair pomade. From 'More Bathroom Collectibles' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/bathroom-2.htm

From California Naturally, Marina del mar California Swimsuits beach towel vintage antique collectible. From 'More Bathroom Collectibles' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/bathroom-2.htm
From top left: Spoolie (Spoolies) rubber hair curlers, USA, 1949. Voit Nose Clip (for swimmers), USA, c1960. Paris Garters (sock garters), A. Stein & Co., USA, c.1950. Listerine Toothpaste “Double Size,” Lambert Pharmacal Co., St. Louis, USA, c.1950. Skinny Dip perfumed talc, Pfizer (Leeming Div.), NY, USA, c.1970. Modern Hair Pomade “for unruly hair” by Cheatham Chemical Co., Atlanta, USA, c. 1947. Cru Butch Hair Wax from Lucky Tiger Mfg. Kansas City, MO, USA, c.1967. Arrid Roll-On Deodorant with “Perstop,” Carter Products, NY, USA, 1962. Ice Blue Secret Cream Deodorant, Procter & Gamble, USA, c.1960. The towel advertises Marina del Mar California Swimsuits “From California, Naturally,” c.1966. Lady Ronson Electric Shavers are c.1960 and made in W. Germany. Both men's shavers are C.F.L. models from Ronson and are c.1959 (USA).

Below, from Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati, are classic 1960-era Crest and Prell boxes. This packaging is just exquisite, in my opinion. As a perpetual student of design, I’ve spent some time wondering just why this is so.


These products of the past look great anywhere but seem especially well-suited for display in a bathroom. If space permits, hanging a beach towel is always a cheery touch.

Vintage collectible Lady Ronson electric shavers, c.1960, made in W. Germany. From 'More Bathroom Collectibles' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/bathroom-2.htm

Vintage collectible Ronson shavers, C.F.L. models c.1959 (USA). Atomic! From 'More Bathroom Collectibles' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/bathroom-2.htm