In the fall of 1925, a series of six signs advertising Burma-Shave, a new brushless shaving cream, appeared for the first time along highway 65 from Minneapolis to Albert Lea and on highway 61 to Red Wing. The signs began an advertising phenomenon using clever rhyming jingles that lasted into the 1960s, including: “Your shaving brush / has had its day, / so why not / shave the modern way / with Burma-Shave?” In the early 1900s, Robert Odell, a Minneapolis attorney, was seeking a second source of income. He decided to manufacture an aromatic liniment, which he named Burma-Vita. He chose “Burma,” which was the source of the liniment’s ingredients (cassia, camphor, and cajeput), and vita, which is Latin for life. Odell promoted it as a remedy for aches and pains, burns, wounds and sores, skin irritations and rashes, and other ailments. In 1925, the Burma-Vita company was in dire financial straits. Robert’s son, Clinton, had the idea to develop a brushless shaving product for men from the liniment. This new product would eliminate the need for a shaving brush, which often became moldy and smelly when stored in a shaving kit. Burma-Shave was born after months of experimentation… Read full this story
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