When I was a lad, one of the many books and series that made an impression on me was Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. It’s a big series, and this is only one of the many books they put out. The stories and information within is fun, though not always accurate. Funny how Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader isn’t the most reputable source of information.
Anyways, one such edition (exactly which one, I have no idea) included the story of Robert R. Taylor. Even if you’ve never heard the name, you’ve used his product. One day, he had the idea for a single-use plastic soap pump. You know the kind- you have a plastic bottle full of liquid soap, and there’s a pump on top that you push down and it squirts some soap into your hand. He knew it was a great idea. The problem was- it was completely unpatentable. The only thing that’s been around longer than the plastic push pump is liquid soap.
Luckily, he had a plan. There were only two companies that made the pump he needed, so he called up both of them and 100 million of the things- enough to keep his would-be competitors out of the game for at least a year.
I like to imagine him standing on this huge pile of plastic pumps, shouting about how he’s the pump king.
Long story short, it worked, and he created the brand now known as Softsoap. Which, coincidentally, I was looking at when I got the idea for this post. I hope you all learned something about soap today.