Here’s Rosemary DeCamp for 20 Mule Team Borax.
This commercial is from the old syndicated TV series Death Valley Days, which ran from 1952 to 1975 (the last five years were “encore presentations” of the earlier shows). It was an anthology series which told true stories from the American West, and it was sponsored by the Pacific Coast Borax Company, which later became U. S. Borax after merging with U. S. Potash Company. Their primary product was “20 Mule Team Borax,” a laundry product that promised to make your clothes cleaner and smell nicer when added to your regular laundry products, kind of like what Rosemary was talking about.
(So, why “20 Mule Team”? Evidently, before there was a railroad to transport the mined borax from Death Valley, the borax was loaded into big wagons that were then pulled to civilization by 20 mules. The clip shows the end of the program and features an actual mule team pulling one of those wagons.)
The show itself started on radio in 1930 and ran there until 1945. The first host of the TV show (who you see at the end) was Stanley Andrews, “The Old Ranger,” who hosted it until 1964. The next host of the show, in his last acting role, was Ronald Reagan, who advertises Boraxo, a hand soap, in this clip. Also making an appearance is his daughter Patti.
Reagan was succeeded by Robert Taylor, who was then succeeded by Dale Robertson before five years of “encore,” and then it went to TV heaven after 450 episodes.
So, what is borax, anyway? Wikipedia (i.e. The Blogger’s Best Friend™) says that it’s an important source of the element boron and a salt of boric acid. Like boric acid, it’s used as a flame retardant, antiseptic, and insecticide. In small amounts, it’s no more toxic than table salt, and evidently has many health benefits, if Dierdre in this clip is to be believed…
And, of course, it’s an important ingredient in slime (or Flubber, if you prefer), although there’s some debate that either corn starch or contact lens solution might work better. This young lady compares slime made with borax with that made with contact lens solution.
I didn’t realize you could by Elmer’s Glue-All by the gallon…