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The Royal Toilet and the Poisonous Marker: A History of Brands That Become Names of Items (Part 2)
The Royal Toilet and the Poisonous Marker: A History of Brands That Become Names of Items (Part 2)

The transformation of popular brand names into common nouns is characteristic not only of the Russian language. For example, in Africa, any coffee drink can be called "nescafe", regardless of its quality and brand, and the name of the company Kleenex has become in many English-speaking countries a synonym for disposable handkerchiefs. Many words in our language once meant a product of only one specific brand, but later expanded their meaning.


Original Eau de Cologne 1811

Italian perfumers Johann and Maria Farina in 1709 in Cologne created such a popular perfume that their brand - "Eau de Cologne" over time began to mean a whole class of perfumery substances. The name given in honor of his hometown - in translation it means "Cologne water" - gradually transformed into one word. After the Patriotic War of 1812, the cologne came to Russia, where Russian perfumers added three essential oils to it: bergamot, lemon and neroli, and called it “Triple cologne”. By the way, representatives of the royal family of the Romanovs were regular buyers of this exquisite product. After the Revolution, when a stake was placed on the mass buyer, this brand, of course, became completely different, and after the dry laws at the beginning and end of the 20th century, cheap alcohol-containing colognes found a completely different use among the people.


Manufacturers of baby diapers of other companies tirelessly have to repeat the correct name of this disposable hygiene item in their advertisements, without which it is no longer possible to raise children, but they face one problem. In Russia, most of the buyers stubbornly call this product "diapers" and are not going to change their new habit. This is how the well-known brand of Procter & Gamble is becoming a household name before our very eyes.


In the 20th century, comfortable stoves have become a sign of their time, a mention of this thing can often be found in literature (frame from the movie "The Master and Margarita")

The inventor Frans Lindqvist in 1892 designed a small kerosene stove that ran on kerosene and hardly ever smoked. The trade mark of the first Swedish kerosene stove "Primus" gave a name to all such products, and not only in Russia. The product was very convenient for its time and therefore very soon became incredibly popular.

Toilet bowl

The first all-ceramic plumbing miracle appeared at the Royal Buckingham Palace in 1883. It was developed by the English engineer Thomas Twyford. The novelty was named "Unitas" - from the Latin word "unity", because before that the royal "chairs" had a pot or a bucket inside. The product quickly spread throughout the world, and the name of the first brand began to denote this class of items.

Antique Victorian toilets are interesting museum pieces today

Felt-tip pen

Ink and markers with the name "Flo-Master" were produced in the middle of the 20th century by the large American company Cushman & Denison. Her products were very popular, as they were distinguished by bright colors. However, over time it became clear that such an amazing quality was due to the huge content of lead compounds. Due to the danger of poisoning young artists, the ink was discontinued, but the name of the popular brand has since remained with us.


Another example of the penetration of a foreign word into the Russian language, which, moreover, denotes a product of one company, is the name of the famous graphic editor.Most Russians say “photoshop” when they want to improve the quality of a photo, without even thinking that, in fact, Adobe software is not the only one in the world.


The American company Otis Elevator, which today supplies elevators and other lifting devices to Russia, made a revolutionary leap at the beginning of the 20th century. The engineers of this company invented and implemented the world's first moving staircase. The name "escalator" was exclusive for a long time, but then the company lost these rights and the word became a household name.


Eskimo is a favorite treat that will soon celebrate its centenary

At the beginning of the 20th century, young confectioner Christian Nelson witnessed a heartbreaking scene in his father's shop: a little boy could not choose between a chocolate bar and ice cream. The kid cried bitterly from resentment at the whole world, since his pocket money was not enough for two delicacies. The result of Nelson's reflections on the imperfection of this world was the trademark "Eskimo Pie", patented by him in 1922. The kids no longer sobbed before a difficult choice, since the new ice cream was doused with a layer of chocolate. After resale of the rights to make revolutionary treats to other manufacturers, the word has become firmly established in most languages.

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