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Weird Facts about Kiwi® Shoe Polish

  • Inventor William Ramsay named the shoe polish Kiwi in honor of his wife, Annie Elizabeth Meek Ramsay, a native of Oamaru, New Zealand.
  • The kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand, and "Kiwi" is also a nickname for a New Zealander, just as "Yankee" is a nickname for a citizen of the United States.
  • In 1906, William Ramsay invented Kiwi "boot polish" and began marketing it in Melbourne, Australia. Ramsey would load boxes of his boot polish on his horse and wagon and sell it to ranchers to protect their boots.
  • During World War I and World War II, Kiwi shoe polish's popularity spread throughout the British Commonwealth and into the United States. A few years after World War II, the Australian company opened a manufacturing plant in Philadelphia, making only black, brown, and neutral shoe polish in tins.
  • Nearly 80 percent of all corporate executives believe that well-cared for shoes are very important to a person's success.
  • New Zealand is the only place kiwi birds are found in the wild.
  • As the national emblem of New Zealand, pictures of the kiwi are found on money, stamps, and coins.
  • The kiwi has wings but cannot fly. Its beak is one third the length of its body, and its nostrils are at the tip of that beak. A five-pound kiwi lays an egg that weighs just over a pound—a record in the bird kingdom.
  • Kiwi is the best-selling shoe polish in the world.
Copyright © 1995- Joey Green. "Kiwi" is a registered trademark of Sara Lee Corporation.
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