The Story Behind the Morton’s Salt Girl

The Story Behind the Morton’s Salt Girl

The Story Behind the Morton’s Salt Girl Most people are familiar with the “Morton”s
Salt girl“. With her bright yellow dress, oversized umbrella,
and leaking container of table salt, she’s an iconic figure in American grocery stores. But who is the Morton’s girl, and where
did she come from? The Morton’s story begins in the 1880s,
when a man named Joy Morton invested in a Chicago-based salt company. Salt was big business in those days, largely
fueled by the demand of the explorers and pioneers who were settling the American West. In fact, while salt sells for just a few dollars
a pound at most grocery stores these days, it wasn’t always so easy to come by back
then. Salt is a critical component of any diet and
throughout history has been critical to certain types of food preservation. Perhaps not surprisingly from that, evidence
of early human settlements are often found near sources of salt. Struggles over salt have led to war in many
cases – in fact, it was the subject of skirmishes between the British and the colonists during
the American Revolution. One factor that persuaded Thomas Jefferson
to launch the Lewis and Clark expedition was the rumor that a great salt mountain could
be found near the Missouri River. Given the importance of salt, it’s no surprise
that Joy Morton’s little company thrived along with the growing country. As the business grew, he bought out his partners. By 1910, he owned a large enough stake to
re-brand it in his name – the Morton Salt Company. At about this time, Morton’s company was
also trying to solve a persistent problem. Salt is “hygroscopic”, a physical property
that causes it to absorb water from the air around it. When water is absorbed, the salt tends to
clump – an inconvenient property for bakers and diners. If you try to put the salt from those days
in a shaker and sprinkle it over your French fries, you wouldn’t have much success. Morton and his team solved this problem in
1911 by adding an anti-caking agent, magnesium carbonate, to their product. They also put the salt in a cylindrical package
that helped keep water out. The result was a free-flowing salt that wouldn’t
frustrate customers. Morton was pleased with his innovation, but
still he faced another issue. Now that his salt came in a new and improved
form, he needed to spread this information to his customers. How could he get the word out to customers
that Morton salt was the brand for them? Morton hired advertising agency N.W. Ayer and Company to put together a marketing
campaign that would promote the anti-caking properties of his salt. The ad team came up with a long list of marketing
plans. They pitched their most promising concepts
to the salt company’s executives, but it was Morton’s son who saw genius in one of
the throwaway ideas – a little umbrella-wielding girl, accidentally pouring salt in the rain. The illustration epitomized wholesomeness
and innocence. It also demonstrated the value of Morton salt
– it will pour easily, even if you’re standing in a rainstorm. The company paraphrased an old adage for the
accompanying catchphrase: “When it rains it pours.” The ad debuted in Good Housekeeping magazine
in 1914. In the years since, Morton’s little girl
hasn’t aged more than a few years, but she has made some changes to keep up with the
times. The first makeover came in 1921, when her
hairdresser changed her blonde mop to straight, dark hair. In 1933 – as Shirley Temple’s career as
a child actress took off – she co-opted the child star’s trademark curls. Today, the Morton Salt Company adorns its
packages with the sixth version of the umbrella girl – the one with the yellow dress and
a daydreaming gaze that evokes the spirit of 1968, the year she debuted. Despite frequent questioning from fans and
customers, Morton Salt Company maintains that she is simply the creation of an ad-maker’s
imagination – there is no real girl behind the iconic image.


  1. What happened when the Morton Salt Girl met the Energizer Bunny .
    . . . . . .
    . . . . . .
    a Salt and Battery !

  2. A lot of these videos are baffling unless you happen to be from america. I only clicked on this because I wanted to know wtf Morton's salt was.

  3. Ever noticed just how much Simon moves about in these videos? Just watch him for a moment. He's dancing! He's a dancing machine! If the channel ever folds, he could always have a shot on one of those dancing competition shows.

  4. Topic suggestion: Aleister Crowley – Did he actually talk to the dead? Did he really fool all the people with magic? How long was he on Satan's call?

  5. "A few DOLLARS a pound"? Wow, I have some I'd really like to sell you.
    My grandmother usually put a few grains of rice in each salt shaker to be sure the salt wouldn't clump in humid weather.

  6. ah yes, promoting a hundred years of high blood pressure and diabetes thank you Morton salt. (I was being partly sarcastic)

  7. So could you do a video on rainbow trout and how they are considered steal head salmon my family had an hour long discussion about this and still weren't able to come to a reasonable conclusion

  8. omfg stop moving your hands seriously. scishow and this show have glaring fucking issues with their hosts

  9. I hear lots of comments regarding the size of women's eyes but zero regarding men. Is eyeball radius deviation larger among females?

  10. You should do a video on the origin of the Dutch oven. It's not as straight forward as you might think.

  11. oh god the hand motions are killing me. if you're moving your hands, do it intentionally. there will be more impact.

  12. I think Simon needs to go easy on the coffee. He's getting more jazzed in his arm muscles with every video. Its starting to become distracting.

  13. The way you say "sixth" without the x is that some kind of speech impediment? A quirk of the tongue's shape or musculature? It's common enough that I hear it periodically and I think you should do a video about it.

  14. Can't this guy control his arm movements? He looks like he's continually being "goosed". Like the subject matters, tho….

  15. I want to see Simon do one of these videos without moving or using his hands.Nice little nugget of information, though.

  16. Your videos are fascinating but are you aware that you constantly flail your arms/hands? As in, constantly…the entire video, your arms are never still. This can be a bit distracting some people (like me).

    Just a bit of 'constructive criticism' there, you're welcome to take it with a grain of salt. 🙂

  17. I live near a source of salt, the Great Salt Lake, and Morton mines a lot of salt form the lake. I actually used to think they were just a local company. I guess they aren't just a Utah thing.

  18. Morton was the name of a town next to the town I grew up in! So I just never thought much about it I assumed the salt was a product of the neighboring town.. when I was around 12 I noticed a thing of "Morton salt" on the counter of a tv show I was watching!! I thought how cool that our local salt was on a big tv show.. I think my parents doubted my IQ that day 😁🤦🏻‍♀️

  19. I did find the video interesting, but the title is "The story behind the Morton salt girl". Making that the last 27 seconds of the video was irksome.

  20. Ok. He mentions how in 1933, they changed her look to be like Shirley Temple. Who is the look they were going for in the 1957 version of the "Morton's Salt Girl"?

  21. The salt isn't leaking, the salt container is open and spilling because she is a little girl who is making a cute childish error.

  22. I usually just look for the cheapest salt, the chick with the umbrella doesn't persuade me to spend the extra 20 cents for higher salt. I have to buy salt like what, maybe once a year?

  23. Oddly enough, I built a fountain for the living heir to the Morton Salt Company; one; Sterling Morton Hamill… who in conversation informed my wife and I, the "Morton Girl" was actually created from a photo of his grandmother! Whether or not this statement was true, I can neither confirm, nor deny. However, I see no reason the living heir of such a company would feel the need "salt" the truth for added flavor or embellishment. Hence, I question the accuracy of your research, respectively!

  24. She is also one of the few advertising campaigns and trademarks to have with stood the test of time.
    She is not racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.
    She is just a little girl pouring salt in the rain, truly a wonderful icon.

  25. Hydroscobic is not the correct word. The correct one is Hygroscopic.

  26. I had a good friend whose husband worked for Morton Salt. He passed before she did and when she also passed, she willed me an antique collection of teacups from Morton Salt with all different versions of the Morton Salt Girl on each cup. It's nice to know some of the history behind them.

  27. SALT GIRL is same girl as LIL GIRL alone MIAMI BEACH SUNTAN company 1953 .is same GIRL Sunbeam BREAD GIRL 1955 is same girl 1952 DIAPER CO CLINTON IOWA. BABY head shot n CRIB. Same GIRL ICE CREAM FACTORY TEXAS girl n cow .original head trademark was Indian Chief 1952. Then girl alone. Then girl n dog MIAMI BEACH SUNTAN company. 1955 is same girl Salt girl 1957


  29. Now that you know the story behind the Morton's Salt Girl check out this video and find out about The Real Life Indiana Jones:

  30. Time for a morton salt boy with a black or grey umbrella holding her hand as they walk together her holding the salt.It may appeal to more men.

  31. Thank God its Simon….sorry Daven but let's face it Simon could read the Apple terms and conditions and we the people would be enthralled.

  32. I had a scary dream of her years ago..she had a yellow drench coat on & had very very long dark hair..she was very scary looking

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