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
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.