When it rains it pours: exploring the birth of a timeless American icon and slogan.

Written by Cole Schafer


Surely you’ve seen her. She’s not an inch taller than five feet. She’s dressed from head to toe in yellow, with a bobby haircut colored blonde to match.

Over her right shoulder she delicately holds a billowing umbrella that protects her from the falling rain and under her left arm she carries a large cylindrical canister that pours salt behind her like a fairy sprinkling pixy dust.

She’s forever young –– never growing a day over nine, ten, maybe eleven years old since she was first thought up back in 1911.

Smiling through world wars, recessions, depressions, diseases and attacks –– she’s lived through the planet’s darkest hours.

She’s as iconic as Harley Davison, Nike and Apple and perhaps in more households than all three combined.

She’s the Morton Salt girl.

Now, I’m not trying to be overly romantic here. But, there is something wondrous in the Morton Salt Girl… not just in the logo (or the icon rather) but in the slogan that was paired with her during her creation…

Morton Salt’s advertising agency was thinking of a way to market a unique aspect of their product… that it poured in moist or wet conditions.

They began fooling around with an old adage… “It never rains but it pours.”

However, after feeling the phrase sounded too negative, they decide to revise the saying to…

“When it rains it pours.”

In not so many words saying… when it’s a little wet, Morton’s Salt doesn’t cake up in the canister but instead pours, seamlessly.

Over a century later, it’s hands down one of the most famous slogans of all time. So, famous that it has become a popular phrase in American households –– one you’ve probably heard your mother or your mother’s mother say before not realizing it was a twist on an old proverb.

That, to me, is the power of a logo and a slogan. Not that it can become something immortal, living longer than the minds that thought it up. But, that it can become something so ingrained in the culture that it permeates language.

But, I digress.

(By the way, if you geek out over slogans, you will really like the story behind M&M’s).

By Cole Schafer.