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Object Record

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Object ID # 1990.021.030ab
Object Name Jar, Cosmetic
Title MUM Deodorant Jar
Lexicon category 3: Personal Artifacts
Credit line In Memory of Edwin Miller
Date 20th-century
Year Range to 1931
Made Unknown
Place of Origin United States of America?
Description This is a round, opaque white glass (milk glass) jar for MUM deodorant, possibly from the 1920s-1940s. It has a printed metal screw lid with it still. The underside has emboss-style lettering that includes the word MUM.
Makers mark The underside has emboss-style lettering.
Provenance The item was formerly owned by Caroline Miller. The Millers lived in a farm house south of Hanover, Normanby Township, Grey County.
The last owner, Dorothy Miller (neƩ Miller), was married to Edwin Miller, a brother of the last two occupants of the Miller farmhouse - twin brothers, Noah and Aaron Miller.
Collection Toiletry & Cosmetic Collection
Material Glass/Metal/Ink
Dimensions W-4 L-4 D-3 Cir-12 cm
Found Normanby Township (formerly), Municipality of West Grey, Grey County
People Miller, John & Caroline
Function A factory-made, brandname deodorant preparation, that was likely sold in a drugstore. It may date to the 1940s. Mum was the first brand of commercial deodorant. Containing a zinc compound as its active ingredient, it was developed and patented by an inventor in Philadelphia in 1888, whose name has been lost to history. It was named for the term "mum" meaning "to keep silent" as in the popular phrase Mums the word. Mum was originally sold as a cream in a jar and applied with the fingertips. The small company was bought by Bristol-Myers in 1931.

In the late 1940s, an employee (Helen Diserens) developed an applicator based on the newly invented ball-point pen. In 1952, the company began marketing the product under the name Ban Roll-On. In 1958, the product was launched in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations as Mum Rollette.