ŌNOX was founded in 1933 by James de Fremery III in San Francisco with a lab in South Grand Street, Los Angeles. Its key product was an innovative deodorizer and disinfectant, used to control foot and body odors as well as odors in bathrooms, animal shelters, and gyms. The company resembled a modern-day bio-tech startup. The solution was later found to have special potency on athlete’s foot and ring-worms. That was documented by Los Angeles-based Arthur R. Maas Laboratories in January of 1933. Athlete’s Foot was a serious public health issue. ŌNOX focused on perfecting solutions to prevent Athlete’s Foot and ring worms.
James de Fremery III was born in 1888 in New York city. He moved west with his father and grandfather. The de Fremeries founded the San Francisco Savings Union Bank, which is now part of the Wells Fargo & Company. James attended University of California at Berkeley. As a student he was active member of Beta Theta Pi. He loved sailing and the outdoors. Was a longtime member of the Sierra Club and Bohemian and Commonwealth Clubs, the California Historical Society, and the Society of California Pioneers.
James invested heavily in product development, innovation, testing, and promotion. In his personal letter dated in 1935, the inquisitive James asked the labs to determine the molecular weight of the ŌNOX products. He was way ahead of his time.
ŌNOX History (Cont'd)
James’ son, Robert (Bob), took over as the second CEO after James' retirement. Under Bob’s leadership, ŌNOX developed solution application tools such as trays, sponges, and super sprayers.
Bob was an economist by training. He was the author of "Money and Freedom" (1955) and "Rights vs. Privileges" (1992). Among the economists closely involved with his research and findings were Dr. Elgin Groseclose, Dr. Martin Bronfenbrenner of Duke University, Dr. E. S. Shaw of Stanford University, Dr. Milton Friedman (Nobel Laureate), Mr. William F. Rickenbacker, whose book, "Death of the Dollar" (1968) made extended reference to de Fremery's work in the field of money, and the noted cross-disciplinary thinker and Pulitzer Laureate, Dr. Ernest Becker.
ŌNOX History (Cont'd)
In 1969, ŌNOX merged with Jones Hamilton Company and operated as a separate entity. James Black was president. He moved the company to Palo Alto to be close to his residence. Jones Hamilton consolidated a hand cream product into ŌNOX. ŌNOX marketed both foot solutions and hand cream. During that time, ŌNOX logo was “Dan the Shower Man” who uses hand cream and foot solution after each shower.
In 1989, Jones Hamilton Company restructured and moved to Ohio. ŌNOX was separated and remained independent. We currently maintain three distribution centers in California, Iowa, and Ohio.