What-Its-Name Was
Major Radio Sponsor
During Golden Age

Part I


Lincoln, Me. (DG)ó

A few years ago, I read an interesting article on the Internet about the demise of American Home Products.  In its heyday, this company was famous for an array of well known products from pain relievers to spaghetti dinners.  It was also an unusual situation, because the products were well known, but very few people may have heard of the company. 

This lack of recognition also occurred during radioís golden age.  American Home Products was among the elite group of major sponsors of that time--- yet the company wasnít a household name like Procter & Gamble.  What you are about to read is the first of a 2-part series to pay a special tribute to American Home Products, the major radio sponsor few people heard of.

If youíre not familiar with AHP, it was the home of Anacin, BiSoDoL, Kolynos, Aerowax, Black Flag, and Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, to name just a few.  It would take me a week to list the individual companies that made up American Home Products.   In order to simplify all this, Iíll list AHPís major divisions during the golden age.  They were Affiliated Products (cosmetics); Whitehall Pharmacal Company (drug products); Boyle-Midway (insecticides and cleaning products) and American Home Foods (self explanatory).

Since this is an article on a company few people heard of, the products mentioned here were radio sponsors, but they were not as well known as Anacin, BiSoDoL, Kolynos, Aerowax, etc.

Jo CurThe first AHP product is Jo-Cur Waveset (pronounced ďjokerĒ, a.k.a. Jo-Cuŕ ) from the Affiliated Products camp.  This product was the pre-aerosol eraís answer to hair spray.  It was a setting liquid that kept hair in place. 

During the mid 1930ís, Jo-Cur was known as the same French waveset creation many famous stage and screen stars of the era used for their attractive hairstyles.  For a fraction of the cost, Jo-Cur provided the same quality waveset as the beauty parlor.  All was required was to pour a little Jo-Cur on a comb, then apply it to the hair.  With the combination of Jo-Cur, comb, and human fingers, the Jo-Cur user had a professional looking hairstyle in a very short time.  Once it was applied to the hair, Jo-Cur kept its hold for a week without flaking.. 

Of the 3 programs I have come across with Jo-Cur as the sponsor, one of them has a particular interest.  This program was RICH MANíS DARLING, a daytime serial program on the Columbia Network during the 1935-1936 radio season.  It starred Karl Swenson and Peggy Allenby as Packy and Peggy OíFarrell.  This program was heard Monday-Friday at 12:45 PM.  It was on the air for a little over a year until its final broadcast on Friday, March 26, 1937.  The program went off the air, but its main idea was being upgraded for its successor. 

The following Monday (March 29, 1937), the listeners heard the first broadcast of OUR GAL SUNDAY.  Swenson and Ms. Allenby appeared on the new serial, but sadly, Jo-Cur didnít.  Anacin and Old English Wax were the new programís sponsors (according To Radio Guide, Anacin sponsored OUR GAL SUNDAY Monday-Wednesday, and Old English Thursday and Friday).

Although it wasnít heard much on the radio after RICH MANíS DARLING, Jo-Cur was still a popular product.  There were still many satisfied Jo-Cur users who used either its green or clear wave set liquid for their hair.  It remained on the market into the 1960ís.

AspertaneFrom AHPís Whitehall Pharmacal Company division, Aspertane was another radio sponsor for a brief time.  As of this writing, I have found only 1 radio program this product sponsored--- Mutualís NEWS & VIEWS WITH JOHN B HUGHES during the early 1940ís.   If you never heard of Aspertane, donít feel bad--- I didnít either until recently. 

Unfortunately, I donít have any print ads or radio commercials for Aspertane, so the information given here is based from a picture of the productís tin.  Please excuse me if any of this information is incorrect. 

Aspertane was a pain reliever like Anacin.  The difference, the dosage in Aspertane is larger than its pain relieving counterpart.  Inside a regulation Aspertane tablet consisted of the combination of 4 grains Aspirin and 1 grain Acetanilid.  I am inclined to think it was the eraís version of an ďExtra Strength Pain Reliever.Ē  Of course, Aspertane relieved the aches and pains typical humans encountered.  Unlike Anacin, Aspertaneís stronger dosage was designed for adults only--- it was not to be given to children at any time.   

Aspertane was originally sold under the Blackstone name and was made by Blackstone Products Company, Inc.  Why I mention this, Sterling Drug (the home of Anacinís #1 rival Bayer Aspirin) acquired the Blackstone line of pain relievers--- except Aspertane.  When AHP acquired Aspertane, the Blackstone name was dropped from the productís name.

With the limited information given here, Aspertane is still a product of mystery.  After it concluded its sponsorship of NEWS & VIEWS WITH JOHN B. HUGHES, fellow Whitehall products Anacin and Kolynos took over sponsoring of the newscast.  Itís not known at this time how long Aspertane was sold after it sponsored the Hughes newscast.

FLY DedAHPís Boyle-Midway division was the home of Black Flag, one of the most popular insecticide brands.  Since Black Flag was a popular product for killing insect pests, it might be surprising Boyle-Midway also made a second insecticide brand--- FLY Ded. 

Flies have an unpleasant reputation of spreading disease and other unpleasant things.  To make things even worse, they enjoy making life miserable for typical human beings by buzzing around the room.  If there was a room in the house these pests werenít exactly welcomed, it was the kitchen.  With food being prepared, flies could very easily spread their dirty stuff just by landing on it (YUK!).  Of course, one solution was to use a fly swatter.  Itís effective--- as long as a fly wasnít fast enough to escape it.  When it wasnít, I wonít describe the dead flyís fate, because itís too disgusting.  The best alternative to eliminate flies was our hero in the orange and blue can, FLY Ded.Just spray in the air with the handy FLY Ded sprayer, and flies seem to disappear from the room--- or kick the bucket!  FLY Ded eliminated the flies with a pleasant scent that didnít drive the family members outside the house.  In a nutshell, no other spray could do more than FLY Ded--- most do less!  FLY Ded was one of the Ded line of bug killers.  There was a Ded insecticide for just about every insect pest.  Along with FLY Ded, there was also ROACH Ded, MOTH Ded, ANT Ded, BUG Ded, and FLEA Ded.  Quality Ded-ly products for insect pests at a reasonable price.  For a company that wasnít well known, American Home Products had a lot of quality products during radioís golden age.  That is why this is a 2-part article.  In the near future, my website (dg125.com) will have Part II of this series with more products from this amazing company.