Where did the baby name Drene come from in 1946?

Drene Shampoo

The first and only time the baby name Drene made it into the U.S. baby name data was 1946:

  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: 6 baby girls named Drene [debut]
  • 1945: unlisted
  • 1944: unlisted

The inspiration?

Drene shampoo…kind of.

Drene, the first shampoo to use synthetic detergent instead of soap, had been introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1934. So the product had been on the market for more than a decade by the mid-1940s.

What drew people’s attention to Drene in 1946 specifically, then?

Drene Time (NBC), the Sunday night radio series sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The 30-minute variety show featured singing and comedy and was co-hosted by Don Ameche and Frances Langford. It only lasted from mid-1946 to mid-1947, but that gave it enough time to influence the baby name charts, if only slightly.

Don Ameche and Frances Langford went on to co-star in the sketch comedy radio series The Bickersons (1947-1951), which featured characters they’d played on Drene Time.

Drene shampoo continued to be sold until the 1970s, at which point P&G stopped production in the U.S.

Source: Drene Shampoo, Medium, 3 oz. | National Museum of American History

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