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A. & F. Pears Limited
Advertisement for Pears' transparent soap.
Additional Title(s):
Don't destroy this!!!
London : A. & F. Pears, ca. [1879?]
Physical Description:
1 sheet ([1] page) ; 39 x 27 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2016 3i
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
"Pears transparent soap is an old brand of soap, first produced commercially in 1789 by Andrew Pears at a factory just off Oxford Street in London, England. It was the world's first transparent soap. Pears began to experiment with soap purification eventually managed to produce a gentle soap based on glycerine and other natural products. The clarity the soap gave it a novel transparent appearance which provided a marketing advantage. To add to the appeal, he gave the soap an aroma reminiscent of an English garden."--Grace's Guide to British Industrial History.
At head of the sheet: "Don't destroy this!!! It is printed on a Japanese handkerchief, expressly imported. It is a curiosity!!!" Rickards notes that the identical heading was used in an advertisement issued by John Moses and Co. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 1881. See: Rickards, M. Encyclopedia of Ephemera (2000), p. 8.
At foot of the sheet: "Proprietors, A. & F. Pears ... Soap makers to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. 91, Great Russell Street, London, W.C."
"Field & Tuer, ye Leadenhalle Presse, E.C."
Date of publication inferred from testimonials. The text mentions John Milton's Hygiene of skin, first published by Chatto & Windus in 1879. It refers to the "late Mr. [James] Startin," who died in 1872. The word "late" is not used in conjunction with the names of Professor Erasmus Wilson (1809-1884) and Dr. Tilbury Fox (1836-1879).
John Johnson Collection, Window Bills and Advertisements folder 5 (20b)
The advertisement is printed letterpress, on fine tissue paper. It includes Japanese decorative pieces and oval vignettes of a woman washing her hands and of a pair of women washing an infant. The text includes testimonials from the opera singer Madame Adelina Patti (1843-1919) and from notable dermatologists, including John Milton, James Startin, Erasmus Wilson and Tilbury Fox.
Subject Terms:
A. & F. Pears Limited.
Cosmetics industry -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Fox, Tilbury, 1836-1879.
Milton, J. L. (John Laws), 1820-1898.
Patti, Adelina, 1843-1919.
Soap -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Startin, James, 1806-1872.
Wilson, Erasmus, Sir, 1809-1884.
Wood engravings -- 1879.
Field & Tuer, printer.

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