24 Products That Got It Right The First Time

Some products are so well-designed, so perfectly tailored for their intended purpose, that they never need to change or adapt.

Whether it’s the simple X-Acto #1 or the venerable Weber BBQ grill, these products look much the same as they did when they were introduced decades (or even centuries) ago. And they’re still just as useful.


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Carmex Lip Balm: 1937

  via : Carmex  

This classic effervescent lip balm has been on the market since 1937, and remains under the ownership of the Woelbing family today. Find Carmex on Amazon


Cetaphil Facial Cleanser: 1947

  via : Cetaphil  

Originally formulated with a derivative from the head of sperm whales (hence the ceta of cetaphil), this gentle cleanser is so popular, the company boasts that it sells at least one bottle a minute. Find Cetaphil on Amazon


Chanel No. 5 Perfume: 1921

  via : Chanel  

This classic has remained one of most popular scents on the market since its introduction 96 years ago. It’s also one of the pricier options out there. Find Chanel No. 5 on Amazon

The Converse All-Star: 1923

  via : Converse  

These cotton canvas classics have enjoy popularity among athletes and hipsters alike since their introduction (in current form) in 1923, where they graced the feet of Charles “Chuck” Taylor, star of the Converse-sponsored All Stars basketball team. Find a pair of Chuck Taylors on Amazon

The JanSport Backpack: 1975

  via : Jansport  

Pioneer of the panel-loading daypack, JanSport (and its co-owned brand North Face) represents almost 50% of all backpacks sold in the US today. Find the JanSport DayPack on Amazon

The Kikkoman Soy Sauce Dispenser: 1961

  via : Kikkoman  

This ubiquitous bottle has been dispensing soy sauce across the world for over fifty years, with an estimated 300 million bottles produced since its introduction in 1961. Find Kikkoman soy sauce on Amazon

The KitchenAid Stand Mixer: 1918

  via : KitchenAid  

Originally developed for industrial baking applications, the first KitchenAid mixers were actually purchased by the United States navy, for some battleship-bound baking. Find the KitchenAid stand mixer on Amazon

The Cast Iron Skillet: 500 BCE

  via : Lodge  

Want to get in touch with your ancestors? Like, your really distant ancestors? Grab a cast iron skillet and get cooking: these heavyweight pieces of cookware have been in constant use for over 2,000 years. Check out the underpriced Lodge cast iron skillet on Amazon

Legos: 1949

  via : Toys2Remember  

Joy of children and bane of bare-footed parents across the world, Lego bricks have been in constant production in their current form since 1949, with an estimated 600 billion bricks produced as of 2015. Find the Lego Classic kit on Amazon

The Mason Pearson Brush: 1885

  via : Mason Pearson  

The Mason Pearson brush’s patented combination of nylon and boar bristles mounted in a rubber cushioned bed have made it the gold standard for hairbrushes since its introduction in 1885. Great quality comes at a price, however, with brushes starting in the low three-figures. Find the Mason Pearson brush on Amazon  

Fels-Naptha Soap: 1893

  via : Purex  

This 19th century soap was a wildly popular option for both pre-treating stains, and relief from poison ivy and other skin irritants, thanks to its high concentration of one ingredient: naptha (now a known carcinogen). Now naptha-free, Fels-Naptha soap is still a top-choice for aggressive stain-fighters across the country. Find Fels-Naptha soap on Amazon

The Opinel Folding Knife: 1890

  via : Opinel  

The Opinel folding knife has remained basically unchanged since its debut in 1890, where it became an indispensable tool in the hands of vinters and farmhands alike. Boasting a carbon steel blade and a durable beechwood handle, the Opinel remains a popular classic, with a surprisingly low price. Find the Opinel folding knife on Amazon

The Dixon Ticonderoga Pencil: 1873

The ubiquitous Dixon Ticonderoga pencil was short-story writer and novelist Roald Dahl’s favorite writing implement. Find the Dixon Ticonderoga pencil on Amazon

Pond’s Cold Cream: 1914

While not nearly as popular as it once was, this ultra-moisturizing cream is still on the marketing, awaiting a renaissance whenever hipsters catch onto the vintage moisturizing craze. Find Pond’s Cold Cream on Amazon

Koss PortaPro Headphones: 1984

  via : Koss  

In an industry full of brightly colored, bass-heavy, bluetooth-equipped headphones, the Koss PortaPro is an anachronism. With its offset, slightly strange design, sliding spring steel headband, and (gasp!) physical cord, the PortaPro looks every bit as dated as its 34 years. Yet there’s a reason why the PortaPros remain one of the most popular portable options among audiophiles around the globe: their incredible sound. Oh, and they come with a lifetime warranty. Not bad for a funny-looking pair of corded headphones. Find the Koss PortaPros on Amazon

Post-It Notes: 1968

  via : 3M  

One of 3M’s most successful products of all time, Post-It Notes were born of failure. Dr. Spener Silver’s attempts at developing an ultra-strong adhesive failed miserably, resulting instead in the low-tack, reusable, pressure-sensitive adhesive which makes Post-Its so indispensable. Find Post-It Notes on Amazon

The Pyrex Measuring Cup: 1915

  via : Pyrex  

Unchanged in a century, this ultra-tough measuring cup occupies cabinet space in an estimated 75% of American homes. Now that’s some product longevity. Find the Pyrex Measuring Cup on Amazon

The Q-Tip: 1920

  via : Unilever  

Factoid: Inventor Leo Gerstenzang’s original name for Q-tips was Baby Gays. Find Q-Tips on Amazon

Revlon Cherries In The Snow Lipstick: 1953

  via : Revlon  

Revlon’s wildly popular Cherries In The Snow lipstick has graced the faces of millions since its introduction almost 65 years ago, including novelist and poet Sylvia Plath, for whom the shade was a favorite. Find Revlon’s Cherries In The Snow on Amazon

The Stanley Vacuum Bottle: 1913

  via : Stanley  

Since William Stanley Jr. invented this all-steel vacuum bottle in 1913, its flown with WWII pilots, carried human organs, and accompanied explorers on deep-sea expeditions. Oh, and it’s probably carried about 50 billion gallons of grandfathers’ coffee. Find the Stanley Vacuum Bottle on Amazon

The Swingline 747 Stapler: 1968

  via : Swingline  

Its simple, all-metal construction and slightly curved good looks have granted the Swingline 747 a loyal following for almost fifty years. It’s still in constant use, with a special red edition that fans of the cult classic Office Space will want immediately. Find the Swingline 747 on Amazon

The Weber BBQ Grill: 1950

  via : Weber  

Tired of getting ashes in his food, inventor George A. Steven cut a a metal buoy in half, fashioning it into an ash-proof grill. And just like that, an inimitable American classic was born. Find the Weber BBQ Grill on Amazon

The X-Acto Knife #1: 1930s

  via : X-acto  

With its solid aluminum handle and carbon steel blade, the X-Acto knife was so perfectly designed, it was the only model available until the X-Acto Gripster was introduced in 1987. Even in the Photoshop age, it’s still an invaluable tool for artists, architects and creatives alike. And it’s still astoundingly cheap. Find the X-Acto #1 on Amazon

The Le Creuset Dutch Oven: 1925

  via : Le Creuset  

Beautiful, popular, and dearly expensive, the Le Creuset dutch oven is the industry standard for enameled cast cookware. And while the average Le Creuset dutch oven will run you north of $300, the construction quality (combined with a lifetime warranty) means your grandchildren could benefit from your initial investment. Check out the Le Creuset dutch oven on Amazon And don’t miss these more friendly-priced alternatives.