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Procter & Gamble

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William Procter, a candlemaker, and James Gamble, a soapmaker, formed the company known as Procter & Gamble in 1837. The two men, immigrants from England and Ireland respectively, who had settled earlier in Cincinnati might never have met had they not married sisters, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris.

Since both their industries used similar resources, the Panic of 1837 caused intense competition between the two and as a result it led to discord with the family. Alexander Norris, their father-in law decided to call a meeting where he convinced his new sons-in-law to become business partners. On October 31, 1837, as a result of the suggestion, a new enterprise was born: Procter & Gamble.

The company prospered during the nineteenth century. In 1859, sales reached one million dollars. By this point, approximately eighty employees worked for Procter & Gamble. During the American Civil War, the company won contracts to supply the Union Army with soap and candles. In addition to the increased profits experienced during the war, the military contracts introduced soldiers from all over the country to Procter & Gamble's products. Once the war was over and the men returned home, they continued to purchase the company's products.

In the 1880s, Procter & Gamble began to market a new product, an inexpensive soap that floats in water. The company called the soap Ivory. In the decades that followed, Procter & Gamble continued to grow and change. The company became known for its progressive work environment in the late nineteenth century. William Cooper Procter, William Procter's grandson, established a profit-sharing program for the company's workforce in 1887. He hoped that by giving the workers a stake in the company, they would be less inclined to go on strike.

Over time, the company began to focus most of its attention on soap, producing more than thirty different types



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