So here's a fun one. Billionaire philanthropist, Soviet Union supporter, cancer victim, and (yes) Jew Armand Hammer needed a name for his new baking soda product. So, clever man that he was, he made a play on his own name. And thus the eternal international brand Arm and Hammer was born.
It's a nice story, kinda cute, and especially of interest to those of us with a rooting interest in all things Hebrew. One problem: It isn't true.
Hammer did hold a considerable amount of Church and Dwight (the makers of the baking soda in question) in the 1980s, but Arm and Hammer was around for at least 30 years before Armand was even born. If anything, he was named for the brand, not the other way around.
Oh well. So much for the Jewish wonder chemical.
Being honest, the picture on the box of a large, muscular arm wielding a war hammer probably should have been our first hint that something wasn't kosher.
Verdict: Not a Jew.
February 2, 2012