Author Susan Benton

Kitty litter

Cats have lived with people for ages. For many of those years, cats spent much of their time outdoors, doing their potty business there. When humans began making full-time house pets out of their cats, they had to provide a place for them to spend a private moment alone.

Many used ashes to fill litter boxes. Ashes were free, but the cats tracked sooty pawprints all over the house. And there was that pesky problem of the smell.

In 1947, tired of the black mess, a woman came into Ed Lowe's family owned business looking for an alternative. The business sold sand, sawdust, and granulated clay to absorb oil and grease in factories and machine shops. Ed explained that his sand piles were frozen, and that sawdust would be as messy as ash. He offered her a 5# bag of the granulated clay called "fuller's earth," and then forgot about it.

Two weeks later the woman came back for more. She had raved about the stuff to her friends and soon they came asking for it. Word spread.

However, by advertising the clay's "deodorizing" properties, Lowe turned an accidental discovery into a lucrative business. In 1990, he sold his company for $200 million.

Follow the link below to learn more.

(PHOTO:By CambridgeBayWeather (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons)


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