Remember This?

By Dorri Partain

Floating along and holding the soap, Snoopy’s in the bathtub providing good, clean fun.

Avon Products, Inc. created a line of children’s products called Good Habit Toys in 1966. More than just toys, the line included toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and bubble bath packaged to appeal to children.

The Peanuts gang characters were added to the line in 1968, with a Charlie Brown-shaped bottle of shampoo, Lucy bottle of bubble bath, Linus figure that held a tube of bath gel and washrag, and Snoopy soap dish.

Snoopy, one of the Peanuts comic strips’ most popular characters, was based on a dog cartoonist Charles M. Schultz (1922- 2000) owned as a boy, a black-and-while beagle named Spike. When Schultz began his cartoon series Li’l Folks in 1947, Snoopy was included as the pet of character Charlie Brown. When United Feature Syndicate signed on Schultz’s comic for distribution, they decided to change the strip’s name to “Peanuts,” as they already distributed a comic titled “Little Folks.” Schultz himself had no part in the decision and never cared for the name Peanuts.

The Snoopy soap dish was patterned after an earlier floating soap dish, Freddy The Frog, that only held specifically designed oval soaps available through Avon. A regular bar of rectangular soap would not fit into the oval indentation and would usually slide off into the bath water. The Snoopy soap bar replacement was white, and Freddy’s was yellow, so they were not interchangeable.

Avon was founded as the California Perfume Company in 1898 by David H. McConnell. A traveling book salesman, McConnell (1858-1937) gave out perfume samples as a gift to entice sales. The samples proved just as popular as the books he was trying to sell, so he began crafting various perfumes in his New York City office. He hired women to go out door-to-door with the samples to better appeal to female customers.

The first cosmetic products with the Avon name appeared in 1929, with the entire line being renamed as Avon Products, Inc. in 1939. Avon produced additional Peanuts products through the 1970’s.

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