Morton Salt: 105 years old and still the one

The only costume for Halloween that I ever one a prize for was dressing as the Morton Salt container at a college party.  I spent hours taking my time painting the poster board and iconic logo; the little girl dressed in a yellow raincoat with a yellow umbrella carrying an open salt container. I dressed as the actual girl with a yellow dress and umbrella when I was younger but my mother would not let me carry the salt opened continuing to say the Morton salt slogan, When it rained, it poured.

Morton Salt’s logo features the “Morton Salt Girl,” a young girl walking in the rain with an opened umbrella and scattering salt behind her from a cylindrical container of table salt, and is one of the ten best-known symbols in the United States. The company began in Chicago, Illinois, in 1848 as a small sales agency, E. I. Wheeler, started by the Onondaga salt companies to sell their salt to the Midwest. In 1910, the business, which had by that time become both a manufacturer and a merchant of salt, was incorporated as the Morton Salt Company. It was named after the owner and founder, Joy Morton, the son of J. Sterling Morton.

Currently, Morton Salt is owned by German fertilizer and salt company K+S and has always had facilities in the Chicago area closing the Elston plant in 2015 but now Morton Salt and R2 Companies have established an agreement in which Morton Salt will retain its highly recognizable branded rooftop and relocate its Research & Development (R&D) Center to the site from its current location in Elgin, IL. Morton Salt is also the sponsor of the Morton Arboretum, a 1,700-acre (6.9 km2) botanical garden in Lisle, Illinois.

Everyone asks who was the girl or what was her name underneath the umbrella. She was called the Umbrella Girl but no name was ever given and an ad agency came up with the idea because they wanted to let customers know that this salt in the new cylinder would pour easily just like rain. The ad was published in Good Housekeeping in 1914 and though she changed the first few decades, her last changed was in 1968.

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