My words, thoughts and photos from a Swedish perspective

A hundred years with the Stomatol sign


The history of this commercial sign began in 1909 when it was first lit on the old Katarina elevator, trying to boost the sales figures for Stomatol toothpaste even further. It was nothing short of a revolution then. Electric moving advertising. The dark sign being lit up, the toothpaste being visibly squeezed out of the tube and then all the 1,361 25W lightbulbs displaying it all.

The sign was moved to its current location when the old Katarina elevator was torn down in 1933. It is a landmark, but it has not been given a historic status which means that it is not protected by law, so the sign can, at least in theory, be removed any day.

Stomatol dominated the market for a many years during the 20th century, a fact that gave us expressions like “Stomatol smile”. For all I know, that toothpaste is no longer available, but the name is still a trade mark now owned by Cederroths.


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