Ronco

hair in a can

Ronco is an American company that manufactures and sells a variety of items and devices, most commonly those used in the kitchen. Ron Popeil founded the company in 1964, and commercials for the company’s products soon became pervasive and memorable, in part thanks to Popeil’s personal sales pitches. The names ‘Ronco’ and ‘Popeil’ and the suffix ‘-O-Matic’ (used in many early product names) became icons of American popular culture and were often referred to by comedians introducing fictional gadgets.

In the beginning, the company chiefly sold inventions developed by Popeil’s father, Samuel ‘S.J.’ Popeil. Products include the Veg-O-Matic and the Popeil Pocket Fisherman. During the 1970s, Ron Popeil began developing products on his own to sell through Ronco. Ronco became a household name with its commercials for kitchen products including the Ginsu knife and Armorcote non-stick pans. Aired frequently, especially during off-hour TV viewing times, these commercials became known for their catchphrases such as ‘…but wait, there’s more!’, ’50-year guarantee’ (later expanded to a ‘lifetime guarantee’), and ‘…now how much would you pay?’

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