"Technu" to the Rescue!

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By Caileen  |  Tuesday, July 28, 2015  |  , , ,  |  2 comments

Dr Robert Smith , inventor of Tecnu, In Lab

Tecnu®, Technu, or Tech-nu? A funny sounding name, with a lot of history. For decades, the name of our flagship product has perplexed many; even our most loyal users struggle to spell Tecnu® correctly. Perhaps we can thank our dedicated elementary educators for drilling the importance of pronunciation into our heads? Regardless, we promise to hold no ill will should you desire to spell Tecnu®, Technu. We recognize the uniqueness of the name!

So how was the moniker for our poison oak and ivy cleanser chosen to begin with? Well, first, you have to know the story of how Tecnu® came to be. Little do many know, Tecnu® was originally developed by Dr. Robert Smith, a chemical engineer, as a waterless cleanser designed to remove nuclear fallout. Dr. Smith ("Doc") sold his concoction in 5 gallon buckets (meant to be stored in bomb-shelters) in the event of nuclear fallout during the Cold War years.

From bomb-shelter staple to poison oak and ivy wash, how can that be? Simple, this is where Doc's wife, Evelyn comes in. Rash after rash, one kiddo after another, Evelyn was fed up. No such thing as a "honey do" list for her, she took the noxious poison oak plants into her own bare hands, literally. Knowing that contact with poison oak usually resulted in a heinous rash, she immediately came inside and washed up with the closest thing to the sink. It just so happened, that Doc had left a bottle of Tecnu® sitting within reach. Evelyn washed up, and days went by without as much as a red spot. Eventually, word spread and Tecnu® began its reign as the go-to cleanser specifically for removing the rash-causing oil (urushiol) from poison oak and poison ivy plants.

Now, back to that name! So there Doc was, in the lab with this new product he'd envisioned and created. The first of its kind. Hmm, what to call it? Well, it was technically innovative and new. Ah ha! Tecnu, short for: technically, new! It was perfect, and so it would be!

Over the years, Doc was asked about the name he had chosen for his innovative product, as many wondered why he had left the 'h' out of the spelling. To which he would jokingly reply, "Because, it got the 'H' kicked out of it!"

So, whether you Tecnu, Technu, or Tech-nu,

Live life. Get Outdoors!™

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2 comments for “"Technu" to the Rescue!”

  1. Posted 8/24/2015 at 6:41:07 PM
    Gravatar of Lyne'

    Loved the back story of Doc and his wife Evelyn. My sister married one of Doc&Evelyn 's sons Vern.

  2. Posted 8/28/2015 at 9:03:13 AM
    Gravatar of Caileen

    Thank you, Lyne! Such a fun story to share :).

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