EMANUEL BRONNER Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


Biography » craftmen artisans and people from other occupations » emanuel bronner


Name: Emanuel H. Bronner                                                                     
Born: 1 February 1908                                                                         
Died: 7 March 1997                                                                           
Emanuel H. Bronner (February 1, 1908 - March 7, 1997) was the eccentric maker of             
Dr. Bronner's castile soap, a concentrated liquid notable for the vast amount of             
lather produced from a few drops and the vast amount of tiny text on its                     
packaging. Although his parents were killed in the Holocaust, Bronner believed               
in the goodness and unity of humanity.                                                       
He was born in Heilbronn, Germany, to the Heilbronner family of soap makers.                 
He emigrated to the United States in 1929, dropping "Heil" from his name to                   
protest the rise of Hitler.[citation needed] He pleaded with his parents to                   
emigrate with him for fear of the Nazis, but they refused. His last contact with             
his parents was in the form of a postcard saying, "You were right. "Your loving               
father." (Much more was actually written on this card, but was blacked out by                 
the Nazis)                                                                                   
He started his business making products by hand in his home. The product labels               
were crowded with statements of Bronner's philosophy, which he called "All-One-God-Faith"     
and the "Moral ABCs". Many of Bronner's references came from Jewish and                       
Christian sources, such as the Shema and the Beatitudes; others from poets such               
as Rudyard Kipling. They became famous for their idiosyncratic style, including               
hyphens to join long strings of words and the liberal use of exclamation marks.               
In 1947, while promoting his "Moral ABC's" at the University of Chicago, Bronner             
was arrested and committed to a mental hospital in Elgin, Illinois from which he             
escaped after shock treatments.                                                               
After moving his family several times, he settled in Escondido, California,                   
where eventually his soap-making operation grew into a small factory. At his                 
death in 1997, it produced over a million bottles of soap and other products a               
year but was still not mechanized. The firm has been the subject of many                     
published articles and has supported many charitable causes.                                 
After Bronner's death, his family continued the business. They have said the                 
labels he wrote will not change except when required by government regulations.               
As of 2007 the Bronner company still lists hemp oil in addition to jojoba oil in             
the ingredients. The pH of their liquid castile soaps is about 9 to 10.                       
The labels are now printed with hemp seed ink.