The Industry Comes of Age

With an increasingly affluent middle class emerging in the post-World War II years, the industry witnessed an unprecedented period of growth. Industry sales hit the $1 billion mark in 1952 and continued to rise. For the Toilet Goods Association (TGA), this "baby boom" era was marked by challenges on a number of different fronts.

Despite the growth in sales, the industry experienced a wave of consolidations that resulted in a decrease in Association membership.

At this time, the industry and the Association focused its energies on educating a broad spectrum of outsiders — ranging from advertising agencies to retail sales clerks to the public — about cosmetics.

Educational initiatives also targeted younger audiences. The Association produced educational booklets for school groups and attempted to convince the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts to establish a merit badge for good grooming.

On the legislative front, this era was marked by a new series of regulatory issues brought to the forefront by a wave of concern over safety. A controversy developed over the alleged link between cancer and the use of cosmetics. A House Select Committee was formed in the early 1950s to investigate the use of chemicals in food and cosmetics and to examine the possibility of such a link.

The Committee, chaired by New York Representative James Delaney, held extensive hearings before issuing a report in 1952 that recommended legislation to protect consumers from harmful chemicals in both food and cosmetics.

The Delaney anti-cancer clause was ultimately included in the Food Additive Amendments of 1958.