Sunday, March 1, 2015


Benjamin Hirsch, the founder of Turtle Wax, wanted to be a chemist, but had to drop out of college during the Great Depression. Instead, he became a magician, supporting his family with his silks and wand. But he never lost his interest in chemistry nor his fascination with cars. In the late 1930s he developed a car wax and mixed up batches at night in the bathtub. His wife, Marie, filled the bottles by hand. During the day, Hirsch traveled by street car to gas stations around Chicago, selling the wax he named Plastone. In 1941, he invested $500 and opened the Plastone Co., which operated out of a series of storefronts.

To promote his wax, Hirsch would go into a parking lot and shine one fender of each car. He then waited for the owners to arrive and hope to convince them to buy his wax to finish the job. Plastone was a couple of years old when, according to company lore, Hirsch made a sales call in Turtle Creek, Wisconsin. The name of the town clicked in his mind with the hard shell of a turtle and the protection his wax offered. Thus was born a new name for the company and for the wax, Turtle Wax Super Hard Shell.

Yes I know they are tortoises. Tortoise, Terrapin, Turtle whatever !
Now here's a lesson on the North american turtle family.


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Bill. I just played this sound bite and my dog flipped out. And now I have a fear of turtles. Who knew they could talk. The few tortoises I've seen around here never said anything.

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