In 1837 William Procter, Candlemaker from England and James Gamble, a Soap maker from Ireland start their Soap & Candle making business, one of 14 business' in Cincinnati doing the same.
They do very well, so in 1890 Procter and Gamble, now selling over 30 different types of soap, opene new plants in Kansas City and Ontario, Canada
William Procter dies in 1907 and William Procter Jnr. takes over the company.
In the Twenties, due to the popularity of the electric lightbulb, P&G discontinue the candle side of their business. Luckliy people still needed soap, and in 1926 Procter & Gamble introduce the perfumed soap, Camay.
Four years later, the desire for more soap based items continue and P&G acquire Thomas Hedley & Co. Ltd from England, who make Fairy soap. This is P&G's first subsidiary outsite of the US and Canada.
More recently the Procter & Gamble empire has grown with the acquisition of many beauty brands: In 1985 they acquire Richarson-Vicks (owners of skin care range, Oil of Ulay/Olaz (Now Olay) and Hair care range, Pantene), In 1989, Noxell are purchased, adding the Cover Girl and Noxzema brands to the P&G lineup.
Shulton, the makers of Old Spice and Blue Stratos are acquired in 1990, and 1991 sees P&G buy Max Factor and Betrix from previous owners Revlon.
The Betrix purchase includes the license for Hugo Boss and Laura Biagiotti fragrances. The fragrance range is increased further by the purchase of Giorgio Beverly Hills from Avon in 1994.
In 1995, P&G probably thought they'd got too many brands and the next few years sees the offloading of Blue Stratos to Parfums Bleu; Rapport, Mandate, Insignia and the Cover Girl and Max Factor fragrances to Dana Cosmetics.
The last few years see P&G acquire more licenses for fragranced goods such as Herve Leger, Helmut Lang, and in 2001 P&G acquired the license for Yohji Yamamoto, Parfums Lacoste, and Parfums Jean Patou.
In 2003 P&G acquires a majority share of hair care company, Wella, which includes their Cosmopolitan Cosmetics division covering brands such as 4711 (later sold to Maurer & Wirtz), Yardley (later sold to Lornamead), Atkinsons, Parfums Gucci, Escada, Dunhill, Rochas and many more.
In January 2005, P&G acquire the Gillette Group, which include Gillette, Braun, Right Guard and Duracell brands.