Unearthing some of the most interesting facts of P&G’s 180 year history
Since P&G was founded over 180 years ago by English-born candlemaker, William Procter, and Irish Soap Maker, James Gamble, we’ve challenged norms and shaped the future – from the products we put on the shelf to the people we bring on our team.
Today, our brands are trusted by millions of people – in their living rooms, their kitchens & utility rooms and their bathrooms — and we know we need earn this trust from generation to generation. For over 180 years, our brands have challenged convention, led innovation and helped to shape culture.
Since the birth of our company by an Englishman and an Irishman over 180 years ago, our heritage in the UK has remained strong. Today we employ 2,500 people across 9 operating sites in the UK and Ireland, including two Innovation Centres, leading global research & development – using the heart of a start-up and the resources of a global corporation to find imaginative ways to reinvent every aspect of our business to better serve the people who use our brands.
P&G's history is full of innovations that solved problems and inspired others in the industry to follow.
We’re taking a look back over our 180-year heritage to unearth some of the most interesting moments in our history.
For example, Did You Know?
- In 1969 the first razor went to the moon and it wasn’t just any razor. It was a Gillette Techmatic, and it was known as the ‘Gillette Apollo’. Given P&G reach people through our brands in 180+ countries and operate in nearly 70, it’s also amazing to think we’ve journeyed out of our atmosphere!
- It was a UK scientist who created the water purifying technology which has allowed us to provide over 17 billion litres of clean water to people in need around the world to date via our Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program
- In 1955 P&G launched the very first fluoride toothpaste proven effective against cavities. We're thrilled to have been keeping smiles gleaming ever since!
- In WWII we helped people stay clean in hard-hit areas by operating a mobile laundromat. This was the start of our global disaster relief programme –Tide Loads of Hope – which still helps those affected by disaster to this day.
- Fairy baby – one of the UK’s most famous brand images, first appeared in a cartoon strip in 1932. A contest was held to name the baby and he quickly was nicknamed ‘Bizzie’ and this has stuck ever since.
- In 2017 we were the first company to bring audio description to our brands’ advertising in the UK. This is something we are incredibly proud of, ensuring that we are accessible to everyone, including the almost 2 million people living with sight loss in the UK