P&G History

A legacy of forward-thinking

For over 180 years, we’ve challenged the norm and inspired the future—from the products we put on the shelf to the people we bring on our team. Click a category to explore the events that made us who we are today.

Moments of brilliance

Serendipitous strokes of genius and passion-fueled ideas launched iconic brands and defined us as a company.

OUR FUTURE

Open Call for Ideas

Our Connect + Develop program helps us partner with innovators around the world to solve problems for our consumers’ needs.

Learn more.

2000

A Food Wrap That Whitens Teeth: Glad Press’n Seal & Crest Whitestrips

To combat plastic wrap that loses its grip, P&G develops a technology to create Glad Press’n Seal. At the same time, a young employee working on at-home teeth whitening products connects with his mentor who shares a prototype of the food wrap with him. Sparked by this new idea, they cut the wrap into small strips, and apply it to their teeth. Shortly after, Crest Whitestrips is developed.

1998

One Insight That Led to Easier Cleaning for All: Always & Swiffer Wet Jet

A consumer explained to a Products Researcher that while she liked Mr. Clean liquid, it didn’t make the cleaning process any easier. She opened her broom closet—full of mops, brushes, and buckets—and asked him to clean that up. Our researchers combine our capabilities in highly absorbent non-wovens, like the ones used in Always and Pampers, with our cleaner solutions expertise, creating both the Swiffer Wet Jet and the Quick Clean category.

1973

A Softener for the Dryer: Bounce

With the addition of dryers in homes, static cling becomes a key issue. P&G finds a new way to deliver fabric softener via a towel. Research quickly led us to an inventor who had already figured it out, and we acquired the technology. Bounce dryer sheets are introduced as a fresh alternative to liquid fabric softeners.

1961

A Grandfather Inspired by His Grandson: Pampers

While watching his first grandchild, a P&G researcher quickly realizes the mess of cloth diapers and the need to carry them until returning home. This leads him and fellow researchers to develop a better & more affordable disposable diaper. Since then, Pampers has continuously advanced—moving from pins to tapes, becoming thinner and more cloth-like, and designed for babies at every stage of development.

1894

A Father's Concern: VapoRub

A pharmacist developed several home remedies, such as cough syrups and other liquids that he sold in his local store. One day his infant son became ill. Unsure any of the ingestible products would be effective, he creates an externally-applied salve that releases cough-soothing vapors when heated by the body. His son’s health improves, and generations around the world grow up with VapoRub.

A corporate force for good

Our employees have been the driving force behind our support for our environment, communities, and people—a practice that has been ingrained in our culture for over a century.

OUR FUTURE

Building Our Impact

Each year, we actively continue to integrate Citizenship into how we do business. The more we do that, the bigger the impact we can make with the people we serve, the communities where we live and work, and the broader world that surrounds us.

See what we’re up to now.

2015

Always’ #LikeAGirl

The 2015 Super Bowl’s most-liked commercial changes the conversation about girls and sports, taking an unintentionally derogatory phrase and making it one of empowerment, strength, and pride. Millions of girls around the world rally to change #LikeAGirl to mean amazing things. This massive engagement starts to change public perception: while only 19% of girls had a positive association with the phrase “like a girl” before the campaign, 76% agree they no longer view the phrase as an insult after watching the Always #LikeAGirl film.

2012

Summer Olympics Campaign

After the success of our 2010 “Proud Sponsor of Moms” campaign, we launch “Thank You, Mom"—a campaign where we support 150 global athletes and their Moms. When asked in what way we can help them most, Moms respond that they'd like to see us support youth sports. For this reason, we commit to raising $25 million globally.

2012

Honored in the Community

The United Way—a non-profit organization that fights for health, education, and financial stability—celebrates its 125th Anniversary and awards us with The Spirit of America Award, their highest national honor for any corporation. We have always placed an emphasis on supporting the communities where we’re located, starting with Cincinnati’s first coordinated community charity in 1915 following devastating floods in the region.

2005

Tide Loads of Hope

The program is launched to help families hit by natural disaster by washing, drying, and folding laundry for them. By 2012, we cleaned more than 34,000 loads of laundry for families affected by disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the San Diego wildfires, Hurricane Ike and more. In 2017 alone, the Tide Loads of Hope program washes 3,100 loads of laundry.

2004

Children's Safe Drinking Water

An employee looks into cleaning water so moms in an African village could do laundry easier. As his team works on a way to reuse the wash water, they leverage P&G laundry technology and soon realize they could get it so clean you could drink it. So instead of laundry, they bring families clean drinking water—a much more important need.

1978

Dawn Wildlife Rescue

International Bird Rescue begins testing all major dish soaps for cleaning and discovers that Dawn works the best. It’s the only product strong enough to remove the oil, yet gentle enough to not harm the integrity of the feathers. Since then, P&G has donated over 50,000 bottles and helped more than 75,000 animals.

Products that broke the mold

P&G history is full of never-before-seen innovations that solved problems and inspired the industry to catch up.

OUR FUTURE

Inventing the Products We Need

Partnering with experts & innovators inside and outside our walls, we’re identifying what consumer needs aren’t being met, and developing tech to solve them.

Check out what we’re working on now.

2001

The First Razor Designed Specifically for Women

For the first time, Gillette asks women about their shaving experience, not just their shaving needs. Venus is developed after recognizing the key differences between men’s and women’s shaving. Using our best blades, Venus incorporates rounded cartridges, anti-bacterial rubber, and in-shower ergonomics and packaging.

1961

Dandruff, Solved

Consumers were dissatisfied with existing anti-dandruff shampoos. After 10 years of research, our scientists discovered Pyrithione Zinc, an ingredient that reduces dandruff. We introduce it as Head & Shoulders in 1961 and it quickly becomes one of P&G’s biggest brands. In 1988, we launch is as our first brand in China.

1955

Preventing Tooth Decay

Our researchers collaborate with Indiana University to develop the first stable fluoride toothpaste. Crest is introduced and becomes the first toothpaste with fluoride clinically proven to fight cavities and help prevent tooth decay—the second-most prevalent disease at the time. We also start reaching out to dentists, enlisting them to help prevent oral care issues rather than just repairing them—dramatically changing the way people think about taking care of their teeth. In 1960, the American Dental Association recognizes Crest as effective against cavities, catapulting the brands credibility.

1949

The Soft Toothbrush

A California dentist invents Oral-B toothbrushes using soft nylon bristles, out of concern for his patients gums. As a small entrepreneur, he sells them only to his dentist friends who in turn recommend the brand to their patients. Oral-B will grow to become one of the largest global brush brands.

1946

Tide, The Washday Miracle

In 1933, Dreft is introduced as the first-ever household synthetic detergent, but research continues to develop a product that can clean consumer’s toughest stains. After almost a decade of failed work, the project is ordered to stop. But for 7 years, the lead researcher secretly works on the product in his spare time. By 1946, he has created a game changing product which is introduced as Tide. Called “The Washday Miracle”, it cleans better than anything on the market.

1879

The Soap That Floats

James N. Gamble, son of the founder, recognizes that families must have 2 different bars of soap—one for laundry and one for bathing. He creates an innovative single bar of soap that works for both purposes. Named Ivory Soap, it takes the country by storm as one of the company’s most legendary brands.

Tech that revolutionized the industry

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that there’s always a smarter, more efficient, simply better way of doing things. This principle has led to P&G products that have changed the way categories think.

OUR FUTURE

Keeping the Gears Moving

We’re constantly working to propel the industry into the future whether it’s with product and packaging innovations, coming up with creative ways to use data, or finding ways to reinvent our business model.

2012

Tide Pods

Designed as a detergent + stain remover + brightener in one, Tide Pods breaks through the laundry category. The pods deliver a new formula in a small dose that is HE compatible and twice as compacted as the current 2x Tide Liquid.

1998

Changing the Aircare Category

One the biggest unmet consumer needs is finding a way to clean things that can’t go into the washing machine. With that problem in mind Procter & Gamble invents Febreze, a product that doesn’t just cover up bad scent, but actually removes it.

1986

Invention of 2-in-1

Our researchers set out to perfect a formula that cleans, lathers, rinses, and conditions in one convenient step. After more than three years of work, we launch the first “2-in-1” shampoo and conditioner on the market and expand that technology to Head & Shoulders, Pantene, and Vidal Sassoon.

1965

A New Way to Make Paper

Recognizing that people could only buy paper that was either soft or strong, Charmin creates a new way to allow for both in the same tissue, calling it CPF. With this new technology comes the famous ad campaign, “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin”.

1901

Improving the Razor

King C. Gillette patents the KC Gillette Razor, an alternative to the straight razor. A breakthrough in the category, its permanent handle and disposable blade provides men with a safe and convenient way to shave.

Practices that improve people's lives

Providing customers with quality products that make every day better has driven our purpose for over 180 years.

OUR FUTURE

Ingredient Transparency

We’re committed to continuing to be transparent about the ingredients we use (and don’t use) so that you can be confident when you add P&G products to your cart.

See our fragrance ingredients list here.

2007

P&G in Your Neighborhood

Tide Dry Cleaners launches in 2008 and is P&G’s big move into the service industry. It is quickly franchised across the country and in the first two years, serves over 500,000 customers, processes over 3.4 million garments, and creates over 150 jobs.

1941

Talking to Consumers

We become one of the first companies to formally respond to consumer correspondence. By 1974, toll-free phone numbers allow consumers to contact us directly. By the 1990s, we incorporate email, and by the 2000s, social media makes connecting with consumers easier than ever. In 2011, we invent a listening solution which lets brands monitor what people are saying about their products in real-time.

1924

Start of Market Research

D. Paul "Doc" Smelser, a Ph.D. economist from Johns Hopkins University, joins the team. He collects statistical data breaking out consumers by income and background, making us the first company to conduct deliberate, data-based market research with consumers. This allows us to improve consumer understanding and anticipate their needs to create products that improve everyday life.

1890

First R&D Lab

R&D quickly becomes a critical function at P&G and our first lab is added to the Ivorydale facility. By the 1920s, R&D is an integrated division of our company, employing a staff of several hundred young men and women. The Research Department develops ways to improve products, then passes their findings on to be translated into new manufacturing processes.

1887

Honest Business Ethics

P&G products, known for their reputation for quality and being made by a company built on ethics, begin to be recognized through the slogan “Highest Grade, Honest Weight”. A retailer in Chicago, Illinois carries nothing but P&G products due to the demand for trusted products.

1886

An Industrial Masterpiece

After a disastrous fire at our first plant, Ivorydale is purposefully built as a modern manufacturing facility. Designed by one of the nation's foremost industrial architects, Solon Beman, the new plant incorporates the latest designs for the safety and comfort of employees. We spend the next 130+ years expanding these manufacturing principles across the globe.

A company that puts people first

What allows us to be one of the largest consumer goods company in the world is filling our buildings with passionate, inspired, motivated people who believe in doing better than good, every day.

OUR FUTURE

Diversity in Everything We Do

We believe in diversity & inclusion. That’s why we support it however we can—from creating flexible work schedules for our employees to building inclusive playgrounds for children with and without disabilities.

Learn more about our efforts.

2005

Women in Saudi Arabia

We become the first consumer goods company to be granted a license to hire women in Saudi Arabia. Since then, our Saudi team has made significant progress in incorporating the talents and insights of women, while still respecting cultural norms and values.

1992

Women in Senior Positions

The percentage of women filling senior management positions increases from 5% in 1992 to 30% in 2011. That same year, over 43% of new management hires from the past 5 years are women.

1992

LGBTQ+ Rights

P&G includes sexual orientation in its Equal Employment Opportunity statement. The following year we support the creation of an internal grassroots organization known as GABLE and its efforts for LGBTQ+ inclusion within the company.

1962

Diversity Programming

Two years before the U.S. government mandates it, we initiate a diversity program for all employees—providing training and support to grow leaders regardless of sex, race, or religious orientation.

1905

Education Equality

James N. Gamble helps establish what becomes the Bethune-Cookman University. This is just the beginning to the company’s long tradition of supporting historically black colleges and universities.

Sustainable steps to a brighter future

A snapshot of all our sustainability achievements and efforts.

OUR FUTURE

Ambition 2030

During Earth Week in 2018, we released new sustainability goals for 2030 with one purpose in mind: to make a positive impact on our environment while creating value for our consumers. Learn more about our plan to address finite resources and growing consumption.

2016

World's 1st Beach Plastic Shampoo Bottle

Head & Shoulders produces a bottle made from up to 25% recycled beach plastic—the first major step in establishing a unique supply chain involving thousands of volunteers and hundreds of NGOs.

2013

Making Zero Waste a Reality

We announce during Earth Week that 45 P&G sites around the world have achieved zero-manufacturing-waste-to-landfill status, leading us to set bigger goals for 2030.

2005

Coldwater Technology

80-85% of energy used in the laundry process is used to heat water. After researchers discover the environmental impact of that, we design Coldwater Technology to deliver optimal performance at lower temperatures.

2003

Environmentally-Responsible Flushables

We lead the development of guidelines for flushable products published by The Water Environment Research Foundation.

1989

A New Life for Plastics

We start using recycled plastic in our packaging, but our use of recycled polypropylene (PP) is limited due to a lack of availability of high-quality material. We need a solution, so one of our scientists invent a sustainable technology that recycles a type of plastic that wasn’t recyclable before—helping us reduce even more waste.

1983

Reducing Packaging & Water Use

Triple Concentrate Downy makes its debut as one of P&G’s first products to reduce packaging and water use. Over the years, we improve this responsible tech across other products like Dawn, Fairy, Tide, and Ariel.

1956

Establishing the Importance of Safety

The first environmental safety publication at P&G is published, providing research on surfactants (like emulsifiers, detergents, and foaming agents) in rivers. This topic continues to be important to P&G as demonstrated by the biological monitoring program at our paper manufacturing plants in 1969 and the release of our first Annual Global Environmental Report in 1993.