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Origins Of Top Businesses: S.O.S Pads And Their Accidental Climb To Popularity

This section of our site is called “Origins Of Top Businesses.”  

It features interesting facts about the early years of well-known businesses.

These facts are given to you for fun and inspiration.
Fun because how many top businesses started out is really surprising.
Inspiring because it will help you as a business owner see that if they can do it, so can you.

Now for today’s facts:

the story of how s.o.s pads began


  • S.O.S Soap Pad is a trade name for an abrasive cleaning pad used for household cleaning.
  • It was created by an aluminum pot salesman named Ed Cox in San Francisco. He gave them away as a way of introducing himself to potential new customer. They were basically just soap encrusted steel-wool pads.
  • His wife named the soap pads S.O.S. or “Save Our Saucepans.”
  • He soon found out that the S.O.S pads were a hotter product than his pots and pans.
  • The reason it doesn’t have a period at the end is because S.O.S. is the famous distress signal and could not be trademarked. By taking away the last period, the name was unique enough that it could then be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • It was later bought by General Foods, then in the late 1960s it was sold to Miles Laboratories. 

Source: Wikipedia

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About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.