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August 24, 2001

SAN DIEGO—After sifting through more than 2,000 entries, WD-40 Company and the San Diego Antique Bottle and Collectibles Club announced the winners of 3-IN-ONE Oil’s Search for the Oldest Can.

The winning entry of the Search for the Oldest Can isn’t even a can at all—it’s a bottle, as were many of the entries. The oldest bottle belongs to Darrell Meyer of Shoshoni, Wyo., who has been digging for and collecting bottles for more than 25 years. He will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a Dremel Professional rotary tool prize package.

Meyer’s winning submission dates to the mid-1890s and was determined to be one of the first versions of commercialized packaging for 3-IN-ONE Oil. While the bottle was similar to many of the other entries, it was identified through certain distinguishing characteristics—a tooled top, tapered neck, crude embossing and a flat and sharply-defined lip—as the oldest submission, dating to the 1894-95 time period.

The contrast between the winning bottle and 3-IN-ONE Oil’s newest packaging —the Telescoping Spout that extends to get at hard-to-reach places—shows how far the product has come since its inception. Despite the cosmetic differences in packaging, the stories and historical references submitted in the Search for the Oldest Can show that 3-IN-ONE Oil has been delivering on its promise to "clean, protect and prevent rust" for more than 107 years.

Meyer found the bottle in Laramie, Wyo. in what had originally been an outhouse site but was later used as a trash pit. It was buried with a variety of other bottles dating to the early- to mid-1890s. A bottle collector by hobby, Meyer often finds old 3-IN-ONE containers, but thought this one was special.

"It was hard to tell exactly how old the bottle was," explained Meyer. "But based on the older-looking top and the fact that it was found with other bottles from the 1890s, I had pre-determined the age and thought it would be a nice bottle for my collection."

First place winner, Arden Allen of Sierra Vista, Ariz. unearthed his bottle on the grounds of an old lumber camp, and second place winner and avid bottle collector Mike Smith from New Tazewell, Tenn. found his bottle at an antique shop. Both will be awarded Dremel prize packs for their finds. Perhaps the most interesting result of the Search for the Oldest Can was the number of entries that included 3-IN-ONE memorabilia, collateral and co-promotion materials that shed more light on the brand’s evolution, packaging and marketing.

Among these noteworthy entries were tiny bottles that were given away as samples in the early 1900s, a pamphlet of uses that came with Harrington & Richardson firearms, vintage advertisements and newspaper articles, and a Dictionary of Uses from 1912. Also found were several octagonal glass bottles marked "COLE’S MANY USE OIL," which is believed to be the predecessor to 3-IN-ONE Oil.

WD-40 Company, with headquarters in San Diego, is a global consumer products company with brands that deliver above expectation performance at extremely good value to end users who buy in a variety of trade channels. WD-40 Company produces multi-purpose lubricants, WD-40® and 3-IN-ONE®, the Lava® and Solvol® brands of heavy-duty hand cleaners, and household products X-14®, 2000 Flushes® and Carpet Fresh®. WD-40 Company markets its products in more than 160 countries worldwide, and recorded sales of $152.7 million in fiscal 2000. Additional information about WD-40 Company may be obtained on the World Wide Web at www.wd40.com # # #

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