Vel was one of the first synthetic detergents. Before detergents were invented, people used soap flakes or powdered soap to do laundry. Besides being sticky and hard to dissolve, soap makes lots of suds, so it was poorly suited for automatic washing machines. Most people did laundry in a tub of hot water or wringer washer. This unopened 12-ounce box is one of three found at a Wyoming grocery in 1998.

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Larger view of front

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VEL, an early synthetic detergent

Vel circa 1949   |   Unopened  8 x 6 x 2 inches   |   Photos   Home