What branded product has remained unchanged for the longest time?

The other day I was using a Bic stickpin, and was impressed at how unchanged it was from when I first encountered it as a “new thing” in the 60s as a schoolkid. Perhaps the specific plastic used might be slightly different, but overall, the product - including the logo - seems just about unchanged. Made me wonder what other products have remained similarly unchanged for as long or longer.

I specify “branded” objects so as to exclude more “fungible” objects such as pins, paper clips, nails, etc. For purposes of this thread, I’m looking for objects that bear a brandname or are otherwise readily distinguishable from similar products from other manufacturers.

I imagine there might be some pencil brands that are unchanged. I guess I would have to try to pull up images of vintage yellow #2 pencils.

I thought of Ball jars. The glass part has likely been unchanged FAR longer than the Bic pens, but I suspected there might have been some changes to the lids.

Any other suggestions?

Weird one, but the Necco wafer has barely changed since 1912 at least and probably far longer. The candy dates back to 1847.

I can’t cite it, but I’ve heard it is unchanged since before the Civil War at very least.

Aside from the short-lived “New Coke” fiasco, the Coca-Cola formula hasn’t changed much since 1888 in those countries where the sugar hasn’t been replaced with corn syrup. At least if you believe the company’s statements that the drink never, at any point, contained cocaine.

My first thought was Jiffy Corn Muffin mix. I would guess the box design dates back to the 1950s (with little updates for things like adding a UPC code). The product seems to be unchanged since 1930. Even the $0.55 price seems like it’s out of the 1980s.

Ivory Soap

Just to clarify, I’m talking about the appearance of the product, not the product itself. So in the case of Coke, whatever the formula, the can/bottle has changed significantly.

I don’t know enough about Neccos.

Re: Jiffy, image on wiki suggests the package is quite similar. Not identical (no “America’s Favorite” banner", but quite similar.

Ivory soap is a good one. Haven’t used any in a while, but my latest recollection is that the bar itself (not the packaging) was the same as when I was a kid.

I always like that old joke - if it is only 99% pure, what exactly IS that 1%? :smiley:

I was sitting here Googling for a pin from Bic and not finding one. So I think you’re referring to the their Stic pen, though the Cristal pen is older. Wikipedia says the Cristal pen is basically the same since 1950. It’s the one I remember from my childhood.

And Wikipedia also says the Parker Jotter was introduced in 1954.That was my favorite pen before computers and smartphones were easily available.

I imagine it will probably be tough to find a food product that is 100% identical for more than a couple of decades since food labelling laws mean that the label has to be updated one way or another. I suspect that when they update the nutrition info, they probably tweak the design a bit too, if for no other reason than they lost track of the original design materials (especially photographs).

Other products have also had labelling updates over the years. California required special labelling on products known to the state of California to cause cancer. Appliances have energy efficiency labelling. Almost every product has added a bar code since roughly 1980, so finding anything older than that will probably be tough.

For what it’s worth, I just emailed the Jiffy people to see when they adopted the basic box design and when they last updated it at all. I realize it won’t help with your quest but I’m curious.

Autocorrect strikes again.

Yes, I meant the Bic crystal. The Stick pen was a later development.

At some point, I think they added a hole in the cap. I don’t remember the hole in the cap from when I was a young kid but I think it happened in my childhood. That’s at least one small change.

Yeah. I hadn’t even thought of food products when I posted the thread.

And I was thinking of products instead of packaging (to the extent they can be differentiated.). I’m sure the “packaging” surrounding the Bic Crystal pens we bought last year was different from what was used in the 50s…

Yeah - that hole in the cap is likely a difference. So let’s say you lost the cap - as always seemed to happen as a kid! :wink:

So in terms of food - maybe something like an Oreo cookie?

This came to mind because I actually have an Amazon order of the stuff arriving today.

Underwood Deviled Ham has been around since, I think, the 1930s. Its packaging today has changed some from how it looked in 1963 (the first picture below), but it’s still pretty similar.

And, what’s inside the can is likely pretty close to the same today, too. :smiley:

Radio Flyer wagons. Came out over 100 years ago and still looks pretty much the same.

Does anyone know if these classic gum packaging has changed? Clove, Blackjack, Beeman’s, Teaberry. I know they have gone in and out of production.

The hard part is probably separating whether the stuff in the package has changed, versus whether the packaging itself changed.

I mean, look at Bass Ale. The packaging has remained more or less the same for 140-ish years. (look at the bottles on the table)- modern label for comparison. But I have no idea how the 19th century version compared to the modern one in terms of taste.


To the extent my preferences matter - the appearance is of primary importance. WRT the pen I mentioned, I have no doubt the ink formulation is different, as well as the materials used, fine points about the construction, etc…

I was going to post this. Neccos were even taken on arctic explorations. A lot of Necco wafers. I have several rolls in the kitchen right now. In fact I’m going to eat some just because.

Just because you’re on an arctic expedition??