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Posted on 8 April 2011 | 8,136 views

Procter and Gamble Stock Price After the 1929 Stock Market Crash

William Procter and James Gamble, son-in-laws to Alexander Norris, became business partners on October 31, 1837 — Procter & Gamble was born. The “Crash of ’29” and 1929-1932 Bear Market had wiped out over 75% of Procter & Gamble’s value.

P&G’s former logo originated in 1851 as a crude cross that barge workers on the Ohio River painted on cases of “P&G” star candles to identify them. P&G later altered this symbol into a trademark that showed a man in the moon overlooking 13 stars, said to commemorate the original 13 colonies.

In the 1880s, Procter & Gamble began to market a new product, an inexpensive soap that floats in water. The company called the soap Ivory. William Arnett Procter, William Procter’s grandson, began a profit-sharing program for the company’s workforce in 1887. By giving the workers a stake in the company, he correctly assumed that they would be less likely to go on strike.

The company also began to build factories in other locations in the United States by the 1880s because the demand for products had outgrown the capacity of the Cincinnati facilities.

By October 27, 1929 Procter & Gamble was trading at $81.125 per share when the first wave of selling on “Black Monday”, October 28, 1929 brought the shares down ($3.375) to close at $77.75 per share on the day. By August 11, 1932, Procter & Gamble was trading at $32.25 and hit a 1932 low of $19.875 per share.

Procter & Gamble produced and sponsored the first radio soap operas in the 1930s — Procter & Gamble’s being known for detergents (soaps) was probably the genesis of the term “soap opera” — When the medium switched to television in the 1950s and 1960s, most of the new cereals were sponsored and produced by the company.

Numerous new products and brand names were introduced over time, and “Procter & Gamble” began branching out into new areas. The company introduced “Tide” laundry detergent in 1946 and “Prell” shampoo in 1947. In 1955, Procter & Gamble began selling the first toothpaste to contain fluoride, known as “Crest”.


The Pittsburgh Press – October 1929
The Pittsburgh Press – August 1932

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