Colgate – 7 facts your dentist didn’t tell you

Colgate, though a household name, is not a company you often hear about.

Founded over two centuries ago in Manhattan, it was a part of New York before Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square. The company was listed on the NYSE in 1930, right in the heart of the Great Depression. That’s not all, either – below are more obscure facts you probably never knew about Colgate.

Puppy Taking Bath

1. Colgate sold perfumes for almost a decade before they began selling toothpaste.

2. They introduced toothpaste in jars in 1873; the tube came around only twenty-three years later with the slogan: “We couldn’t improve the product, so we improved the tube” on their tube in 1908.

3. Though the name Colgate-Palmolive came about in 1953, the companies had initially merged in 1928 as Colgate-Palmolive-Peet (soap manufacturers Palmolive and Peet had merged just two years before).

4. The grunge anthem, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana) was partly inspired by Mennen’s Teen Spirit (another brand eventually acquired by Colgate-Palmolive) deodorant stick from the early ‘90s.

5. Another one of its subsidiaries, Kolynos, was mentioned in two famous works – The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger and Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie. Kolynos is a brand of toothpaste that was most popular in the 1930s but still produced in Latin America and a few other countries.

6. In 2011, Colgate was given the green-light by PETA for discontinuing testing on animals.

7. Colgate faced a tough challenge marketing its brand in Spanish speaking countries as the name “Colgate” in Spanish literally means “go hang yourself”! Nevertheless, despite the morbid moniker, the “Colgate” brand still enjoys immense popularity in Spain and South America. In fact the accidental double meaning may have even contributed to its success.


There you have it – hopefully you’ve learnt something new about Colgate and I’ve piqued your curiosity about  the stocks we offer and their unique stories. Let me know in a comment below!