The RID® story is a great national story.
It’s one of dogged perseverance, natural talent and just a dash of mad genius. It’s a David and Goliath story, a history piece and lesson in success from humble beginnings.
Say the name RID® to any Aussie and they’ll immediately smile, remembering long summer days at the beach or backyard cricket games that were played until you couldn’t see the ball.
RID® was all that was needed to have a good time. RID® has become part of the fabric of who we are.
It all began in a Swamp. DOUG THORLEY WAS THE MAN WITH THE VISION:
“I WANT AN INSECT REPELLENT THAT’S PLEASANT TO WEAR, SOOTHING TO THE SKIN AND MEDICATED FOR EXISTING BITES…BUT IT MUST NOT SMELL OF CHEMICALS.”
To realise his dream he researched with obsessive determination, he tested night after night for years. He was reported to the Brisbane police as “a strange man is in the swamp with a dog”.
Doug was the original human guinea pig: Standing in those murky waters being eaten alive night after night, taking notes, testing new lotions until finally the formula was perfected. He wouldn’t market anything if it hadn’t been tested on his skin first.
His product was DEET based, a chemical used by the American soldiers in the Pacific during World War Two.
It worked extremely well, but had an offensive odour.
His kitchen research, with his wife’s cosmetic cream, finally paid off. After more than 3,000 hours testing in the field, he was ready to sell a product that repelled insects, but with a pleasant scent.
From day one in 1956 it was a hit. Soon, RID® was being invited to picnics, beaches and barbeques across the country. The familiar purple magenta packs could be found in handbags and medicine cabinets everywhere.