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Why is Turtle Wax Called Turtle Wax?

Why is America’s favorite game show consolation prize called “Turtle Wax”?

Benjamin Hirsch started mixing up batches of his special formula liquid car polish in his Chicago bathtub in 1945. He called his product Plastone, and as the company’s only employee he was the sole member of the sales force. His tried and true method of selling Plastone was going to a large venue – like the parking lot of Wrigley Field – and shining the fenders of parked cars. When the owners returned to their vehicles, they were usually so impressed with the beautiful sheen that they purchased Hirsch’s product.

One day in the early 1950s, Hirsch was headed home after a sales call in Wisconsin. He stopped to rest at a tranquil place called Turtle Creek. According to company lore, it occurred to him that Plastone gave a car a shine that was as reflective as the water of Turtle Creek. He further reasoned that his polish gave cars a wax coating as tough as a turtle shell, and promptly renamed his product Turtle Wax.

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History
A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

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video
A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room
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The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.

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