STA-WAX HISTORY

 

The original formula for Sta-Wax® Wood Polish was developed by an Oklahoma painter just before the Great Depression.  (The painter’s name is temporarily lost but we have received correspondence from his descendants and will post his name when we find it.) 

 

The legend is that the painter sold the formula in the 1930’s for a nominal sum ($25) in order to feed his family.  The “Sta-Wax” trademark was registered in 1935 by Lee Goodman.  The buyer successfully marketed the product primarily through grocery stores in Oklahoma, Northern Texas and a corner of New Mexico.  The signature art deco glass bottles came from a manufacturer in Seattle and for a brief period in the 1960’s, Sta-Wax was simultaneously produced in and marketed from Yakima WA.

 

When Sta-Wax ceased production, Tirey Hardin purchased the company in order to guarantee an on-going supply of the successful product through his grocery stores.  Mr Hardin subsequently formed a partnership with Robert Renfrow.  During the Hardin-Renfrow era, several changes took place.  For health and environmental reasons, the traditional de-waxing solvent, carbon tetrachloride was replaced with tetrachloroethylene.  Lemon Oil and Panel-Wax were added to the product list.

 

Prior to the death of Mr Hardin, Mr Renfrow became the sole owner and operated Sta-Wax Products Co for 14 years.  In 1989, an entrepreneur purchased the assets of the company and marketed the three products to a variety of outlets including grocery, hardware, furniture and antique store.  Surprisingly, Sta-Wax sold best in paint stores.  As an interesting side note, polo players discovered that Sta-Wax kept their mallets looking clean and shiny.  For a few years in the early 1990’s, Sta-Wax sponsored a team and polo tournaments. (See photos.)    

 

In 1994, Sta-Wax was acquired by Wood Kote Products Inc of Portland OR who currently manufactures and markets Sta-Wax Wood Polish and Lemon Oil.  Once again, for safety and environmental concerns, tetrachloroethylene has been replaced with a safer citrus based solvent.  The products are sold primarily through independent paint dealers who, in-turn, sell to commercial maintenance departments of hotels, churches and cruise ships.