- Procter & Gamble Co.
Major U.S. manufacturer of soaps, cleansers, and other household products.It was formed in 1837 when William C. Procter, a British candlemaker, and James Gamble, an Irish soapmaker, merged their businesses in Cincinnati. The company supplied soap and candles to the Union Army in the Civil War and continued to prosper when the war was over. Among its products were Ivory soap (1879), Crisco shortening (1911), Tide, the first synthetic laundry detergent (1946), and Joy, the first liquid synthetic detergent (1949). In 1932 Procter & Gamble also sponsored the first radio soap opera. The company later began to make personal-care items such as toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant; food products such as cake mixes and coffee; and miscellaneous products such as cellulose pulp and chemicals.
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