Throwback Thursday: An Advertising Icon Visits Norwich! (VIDEO)
(THIS THROWBACK THURSDAY POST WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN 2012)
On October 8, 1919 at 12 noon the 20 mule team came to Norwich and stopped at the grocery store of H. O. Gregory located at 58 1-2 North Broad Street. Tarrantula Pete gave a lecture and handed out samples of Borax. Borax Bill was the famous “jerk-line” driver of 20 mules, hauling the biggest wagons ever built. The arrival of this advertising icon really brought a feeling of the Old West to Norwich and caused quite a stir with the locals. Visit the Chenango Museum in Norwich to read actual newspaper accounts of the event.
The name “20 Mule Team” comes from the Dial Soap Company. In the 1890s they actually used a team of twenty mules to pull out wagons full of borax out of Death Valley, California. The borax was then manufactured into a popular cleaning component.
Because of the connection to Death Valley, the company sponsored a Western television anthology series which ran from 1964 until 1975. Ronald Reagan was the host of “Death Valley Days” from 1964-1965. It was his final television role before he entered politics.
Do you remember the show? Do you remember this sponsor?