Was ‘Flobar A-Bomb Detergent’ a Real Product?

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Flobar A-Bomb Detergent

The first successful of a nuclear device by the Soviet Union in 1949 marked the top of the United States’ transient reign because the world’s sole nuclear energy. It additionally added a new entry to the lengthy record of fears that vexed Americans within the post-war period: the threat of atomic war.

The Federal Civil Defense Administration grew to become an official authorities company on January 12, 1951, and turned out a series of preparedness films with ominous-sounding titles like “Survival Under Atomic Attack” to acquaint Americans with ideas equivalent to “duck and cover” drills and fallout shelters:

 
But even the looming hazard of nuclear conflict spawns advertising alternatives. Although fretting over which cleaning soap was finest for cleaning one’s exterior of “A-Bomb contamination” after a nuclear assault in all probability didn’t rank anyplace close to the highest of anybody’s record of issues again then, one artful marketer named Flobar ran ads in 1950 providing an “A-Bomb Detergent,” a product touted as selling “effective and rapid washing away of radioactive particles that may settle on the body or become trapped in the skin oils”:

What precisely made Flobar “A-Bomb Detergent” the putative most well-liked selection for residents who might need to cope with the horrors of scrubbing their our bodies of radioactive fallout? Nothing, actually. It wasn’t cleaning soap in bar type (because the illustration and model title may suggest), however merely what we might now name “liquid soap” or “liquid detergent,” distributed from a “plastic soap-shaped container” that buyers may conveniently carry round with them wherever they went for “instant use” … since you by no means know when or the place the Big One may drop.

The rub (no pun supposed) was that not lengthy earlier than it pivoted to changing into an “A-Bomb Detergent” with a view to capitalize on new shopper anxieties, Flobar had been marketed as an unusual private hygiene product, one marketed as a private different to having to make the most of these yucky bars of cleaning soap “contaminated by strange hands … in public washrooms, in roadside restrooms, at school, or in offices”:

Flobar soap ad

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