GOLD BOND’S® heritage dates all the way back to 1908, when the original GOLD BOND® Medicated Powder was first introduced to consumers in the New England region. Arthur W. Guilford bought the formula from The Rhode Island State Medical Association, who’s conference of physicians originally developed it in 1882. For six years, Guilford mixed GOLD BOND® Powder in a small shop located on the top floor of a building at 47 Main Street in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Right from the start, the unique powder enjoyed strong customer loyalty and a dedicated following that grew largely by word-of-mouth.


In early 1912, Guilford decided it was time to pass the powder, and he sold the formula and manufacturing rights to a businessman named John M. Chapman. It was under Chapman’s guidance that GOLD BOND® Powder first began to receive wider distribution and recognition. A can of GOLD BOND® was the first New Year’s Baby gift in 1914, an idea that quickly caught on with other merchants. Chapman also gave a free can of GOLD BOND® to every man drafted for military service during World War II.


In 1930, a man named Timothy Shea joined what was then known as “The GOLD BOND® Sterilizing Powder Company.” During his 35 year career with the company, Shea rose from manager to become the company’s sole owner. His son Robert, a registered pharmacist, took over as president in 1965 and consolidated operations in a three story building in Fairhaven. For years, the manufacture and sale of GOLD BOND® Powder was a family operation, with Robert Shea’s wife, daughter and in-laws all taking part in running the business. Only three men were required to operate the manufacturing process during this period. All raw materials were delivered, mixed and processed under a secret formula behind locked doors, and then shipped out through various commercial delivery channels. The process was so simple that the three men could fill an average of 10,000 cans in a normal morning’s work, which meant that Shea had the freedom to continue working 15 hours a week as a pharmacist at Finn’s Pharmacy in New Bedford, Massachusetts.



In 1990, GOLD BOND® was purchased by Martin Himmel Inc. who began developing the regional brand on a national level. During the early 90s, Himmel introduced the first GOLD BOND® line extensions – GOLD BOND® Medicated Baby Powder, Extra Strength Gold Bond Medicated Powder and GOLD BOND® Medicated Anti-Itch Cream. In 1996, GOLD BOND® was acquired by Chattem, Inc., who has continued steadily building it into the market leading therapeutic skin care brand we know today. Now in its second century of healing, GOLD BOND® currently offers a broad line of products, including some of the fastest growing hand and body lotions, as well as the top selling medicated body powder, foot powder, and foot cream in America.


GOLD BOND® Does what it says.