PandG Naphtha Soap

Sponsors New
NBC(Red) Serial


"The Guiding Light.....
brought to you by PandG Soap.....
The White Naphtha Soap."

                                            --- Fort Pearson

Lincoln, Me.  (DG)--

PandG Naphtha Soap During the beginning of the 20th Century, PandG The White Naphtha SoapSoundbytewas a handy product to have around the house.  In its heyday, PandG was known as America's largest selling bar laundry soap.  Since it was considered one of the pioneer Procter & Gamble cleaning products, PandG joins the ranks of other ground breaking cleaning products like Ivory Flakes, Chipso, Oxydol, Dreft, and Tide.  While it was best known as a bar laundry soap, PandG could clean just about any surface in the house that needed cleaning. 

While it made an impression in the exciting world of washing the laundry, PandG will be remembered as a part of broadcasting history--- history that is continuing to this very day. 

On Monday, January 25, 1937, a new Irna Phillips creation made its debut on NBC's Red Network.  The new serial in question was THE GUIDING LIGHT.  Yes, this is the same GUIDING LIGHT now seen on CBS-TV.  When the initial broadcast took place, no one associated with the program or sponsor would have believed the program would continue into the year 2000 and beyond.  Of course, the characters and the story have changed over the years, and PandG has been replaced with the modern Procter & Gamble products of today.  In fact, GUIDING LIGHT also outlasted its original creator, Irna Phillips, who died in 1973. 

Not only is GUIDING LIGHT the longest running serial program, it is also the longest running continuing program in broadcasting history (only the radio broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera has longer seniority, but it's on the air during the opera season). 

As for PandG, it was a popular and inexpensive cleaning product of the early 20th century--- but it had an uncanny ability to disappear during wartime.

It all began during World War I.  PandG The White Naphtha Soap wasn't sold, because naphtha was needed for military purposes.  With PandG an extremely popular cleaning product, Procter & Gamble made sure there was a PandG soap for home use.  On the shelves where the original naphtha soap used to be was PandG White Laundry Soap.  The name was the same; the wrapper looked the same; and the bar inside the wrapper was white as always.  The only difference was this soap didn't have naphtha.  When World War I came to a successful conclusion for the Allied troops, PandG The White Naphtha Soap returned when there was enough naphtha to make the soap for consumer use.

PandG White Laundry SoapNow let's turn the clock ahead to that awful December day in 1941.  With the horrible events that took place in the Pacific, it was obvious the United States was going to participate in World War II.  Once again, Procter & Gamble reserved its naphtha supply for the war effort.  The original PandG Naphtha Soap was going on hiatus in favor of its wartime counterpart, PandG White Laundry Soap.  It was the same quality laundry soap that was sold during World War I.  The only difference was this PandG was packaged in a more modern wrapper.  With the changes taking place, PandG almost disappeared completely as a radio sponsor, and its ads weren't found in magazines like it used to.  Of course, the limited soap production for home use may have had a bearing on PandG's limited advertising.  

PandG The White Naphtha SoapWhen the Allies clinched the final victory, PandG Naphtha Soap returned once again.  Unfortunately, it was a completely different situation this time.  There was a new cleaning product on the horizon (Tide) that was going to push PandG and other soap products to the brink of oblivion.  PandG was still around when Tide made its nationwide debut, but it's doubtful the soap was around much longer after that.    

Although PandG is but a distant memory today, the program it sponsored back in 1937 is still going strong.  No matter how many products sponsored GUIDING LIGHT (it's a long list), PandG The White Naphtha Soap will always be known as the program's very first sponsor.