Casualty of Social Change: Gold Dust Washing Powder

In 1923, twenty years after the death of its namesake founder, The N. K. Fairbank Company officially changed its name to Gold Dust Corporation. The name reflected the company’s most popular brand, Gold Dust washing powder, and that brand’s instantly recognizable mascots, two asexual African-American children.

The brand remained very popular through a number of later corporate reorganizations and mergers, but as social values changed in the 1940s and ʼ50s, the Gold Dust Twins came to be viewed as archaic, racist stereotypes.

After more than 60 years as the symbol of a very profitable brand, the Gold Dust Twins quickly turned from an asset to a liability. The entire brand folded in the mid 1950s.

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