AKRON (March 8, 2005) — A former tire plant employee who invented a grease-cutting soap to clean carbon black off his and his wife's hands and founded a company around the product died March 2.
Jerome Lippman, founder and chairman of GOJO Industries Inc. in Akron, was 92. During World War II, Mr. Lippman and his wife, Goldie, worked in Akron rubber plants and found the carbon black, tar and graphite difficult to remove. So in collaboration with Clarence Cook of Kent State University, Mr. Lippman invented the soap that could be used with or without water.
The couple originally named the product “GoGo,” using the first two letters of Mrs. Lippman's name. But that name was already trademarked, so Mr. Lippman replaced the second G with a J for his name.
After the war, Mr. Lippman made the product at night, mixing it in an old washing machine, and sold it to out of the back of his car during the day. He later developed a portion-control dispenser to reduce costs for companies, expanding the market into factories and other commercial locations. Mr. Lippman received a patent for the dispenser in 1952.
The company's headquarters are in the former Michelin North America Inc. headquarters in Akron, and GOJO counts among its other products Purell instant hand sanitizer.
Mr. Lippman was preceded in death by his first wife, Goldie, and his second wife, Maggie. He is survived by his wife Eleanor, and other relatives.