bath powder

Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company

Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company is the maker of a variety of household cleaning items including Bon Ami. The company's headquarters are in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1886, Major Thomas G. Beaham came to Kansas City from Zanesville, Ohio, and bought into Smith & Moffit, a company that sold coffee, tea and spices. The company became Beaham & Moffit. Later, Beaham & Moffit bought the formula for Faultless Starch from Bosworth Manufacturing Company. The name Faultless Starch Company was adopted in 1891, and the company was incorporated in 1902. After adding Bon Ami products to the line, the company again changed its name to Faultless Starch/Bon Ami Company in 1974.

Major Beaham's first product, dry white starch, earned immediate acceptance among housewives of the late 1880s because it was simple to use and did not require long boiling. Faultless soon became a household word in the Midwest and Southwest, as women found that the product had many uses other than starching clothes, such as adding an elegant finish to embroidery and lace, treating skin irritations and as both a baby powder and a bath powder.

Faultless' popularity was enhanced, particularly in Texas and the Indian Territory, by the Faultless Starch books attached to the boxes of starch. Salesman John Nesbitt took wagonloads of the books into Texas in the 1890s and attached them to the Faultless Starch boxes with rubber bands. The books were designed as a supplement or substitute for school texts and primers and many people actually learned to read using the thirty-six books that were published from the 1890s to the 1930s.

The original Faultless Starch Company plant was rebuilt after the flood of 1903 in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City. As the company grew and required more space, the plant was expanded at the existing site at 1025 West Eighth Street. In 1968, it was apparent that the business had outgrown its office space within the plant building. The New England Building, constructed in 1887 (the year Faultless was founded) was purchased. The company offices moved into the building at Ninth and Wyandotte Streets in 1978. In 1991, the company moved its offices to the River Market district of Kansas City. It is a colorful, restored river landing district on the banks of the Missouri River.

The company is still run by the Beaham family, with Gordon T. Beaham III, the great-grandson of Major Thomas G. Beaham, serving as chairman of the board. Fifth-generation members of the family who are active in the business include Robert B. Beaham, chief financial officer for Faultless Starch/Bon Ami and president of Trapp Private Gardens, and David G. Beaham, president of Faultless Starch/Bon Ami.

This company's products also include the Garden Weasel, which it has advertised and sold since 1976.

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