Posts tagged with "FMCG"



24. October 2022
Sweetie chewing gum ad by Shanghai Henningsen Produce Company featuring Liang Saizhu (梁赛珠), one of the 3 famous Liang sisters. From the MOFBA collection.
In 1848 John B. Curtis from Maine developed the first commercial chewing gum, inspired by American Indians who chewed resin made from the sap of spruce trees. The product innovation soon became popular across the USA and beyond. Already in 1890, we find a first mention of chewing gum being available for Christmas season in the International Settlement of Shanghai from American trading firm Mustard & Co. But it took another 20 years before mass-marketing to a wider Chinese audience would...
20. June 2022
A beautiful (and unopened!) art-deco design tea tin of "Selected Tea" by the Sincere Co. Shanghai. Sincere was the first Chinese-owned department store in Shanghai, opened in 1917. It was also the first of the "4 Big Department Stores" of Old Shanghai, followed by the Wing-On, the Sun Sun and the Sun. The relentless competition between them spurred modern retail innovations throughout the 1920s, 30s and 40s, such as in this case consumer packaged goods under "Sincere's" own private label brand...
30. May 2022
Vintage Chinese Pei-Heng's "Hand Bird Brand" (擒雕牌) enamel advertising sign. From the MOFBA collection
The Eagle Brand can be traced to 1856, when Gail Borden introduced condensed milk as the flagship product of his newly formed dairy company. In Asia the brand was licensed by the Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company and, in 1874, became the first registered trademark in the then-British colony of Hong Kong. On the mainland the "Fēiyīng" (飞鹰) brand was protected by a “proclamation issued by the Taotai in the ninth moon of the thirtieths year of Kuang Hsü”, meaning the...
18. April 2022
A mysterious anachronistic and out of place trading card from the MOFBA collection
While there is some debate over what event exactly marked the end of the American Indian Wars, it is commonly considered to have been the Battle of Wounded Knee in December 1890. The same year the US Census Bureau broadcast the closure of the Frontier, meaning that in the West there remained no more apparent tracts of land without settlers. What we do know for sure is that almost exactly 13 years later, on a rather windy December morning in 1903, the brothers Wright launched the first...
09. August 2021
25. June 2021
Some time after 1913 independent competitors Crosfields, Brunner Mond & Price's Candle Company founded The China Soap & Candle Company, Shanghai; it was cheaper to manufacture in Shanghai than ship from Liverpool. In 1919 Lever purchased Gossages & Crosfields from Brunner Mond and resolved the competitive altercation. A new Lever company was formed in Shanghai as “The China Soap Company” and it’s factory was built in 1923 in Yangpoo District’s No. 2310 Yangtzepoo Road. The...
14. June 2021
Taken from the book "Food Facts" published by The Shanghai Times. J.A. Folger & Co. was established 1850 in San Francisco as Wm. H. Bovee & Co and was the first coffee brand to offer roasted and ground coffee ready for brewing. Procter & Gamble acquired Folger's in 1963 and during that time became the number one coffee brand in America. The "Agent for China", Getz Bros. mentioned in the ad was also founded in the 1850s in California by Joseph and Max Getz. By the 1870s, the brothers...
31. May 2021
Another unique little piece of commercial and economic history during the Shanghai foreign concessions "Solitary Island" period - still managed by the Shanghai Municipal Council and the French authorities respectively, but surrounded by Japanese military forces. Supply from the Shanghai hinterlands was heavily restricted by the Japanese and left the concession's population with mostly overseas imported goods at increasingly high prices: In fact from 1939 to 1941 prices practically doubled as...
11. January 2021
After several endeavors in the salts and copper industry the British entrepreneur William Gossage founded the The Gossage Soap Company in 1850. After a first success with silicated soap, the company faced a first threat in 1884 – Lever Brother’s Sunlight Soap. The new Sunlight was a technical and commercial novelty. Gossage's response was to produce their own similar soap, also wrapped, branded and advertised. This was 'Gossage’s Magical Soap', whose logo included a wizard and mystical...
29. June 2020

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