Soap is a necessary item for our comfort and health yet it rarely receives notice or praise. When made for a Queen, however, it is quite another matter. In 1892, advertisements for Pears soap read: “Pears Soap Makers by Special Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen”, and “Pears Soap Makers by Special Appointment to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales”.
Queen Victoria conferred the original Royal warrant for the sale of soap to the royal household and the honour was renewed by Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Another Royal warrant was held with the King of Spain
The soap was praised by such notables as the senior surgeon at St. John’s Hospital for the Skin, London and the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. The latter wrote an endorsement on Nov. 29, 1882. “If ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness,’ soap must be considered as a ‘Means of Grace’—and a clergy-man who recommends moral things, should be willing to recommend Soap. I am told that my commendation of Pears’ Soap some dozen years ago has assured for it a large sale in the U.S. I am willing to stand by any word in favor of it that I ever uttered. A man must be fastidious indeed who is not satisfied with it. Henry Ward Beecher”.
Pears’ Soap took the highest prizes at International Exhibitions around the world – Paris, London, Philadelphia, Melbourne, Adelaide, Chicago, Santiago, Edinburgh, etc.
Pears Soap had humble beginnings but through keen marketing strategy it has remained popular into its third century of manufacturing. Andrew Pears began making soap in London in 1789 and it is still available today. Andrew took his grandson, Mr. Francis Pears, as a partner in 1835 and The House of Pears became A. & F. Pears. Andrew left Francis to work alone in 1838 making a modest living but the soap wasn’t quite living up to its potential until 1865 when he was joined by Mr. Thomas J. Barratt and a young Mr. Andrew Pears (son of Francis and great-grandson of the original owner, Andrew Pears. Francis Pears retired in 1875.
Thomas Barratt’s contribution to the success of Pears’ Soap was his persistence advertising it. He was responsible for soliciting the endorsement of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher and others and made sure it was featured in magazines and newspapers in Britain and the U.S. The soap, as developed initially in 1792, was good enough in quality that all that was needed to make it a household item was acquainting the masses with the product.
“Each cake of Pears’ Soap goes through a drying process for a full year before leaving the works, which removes every particle of water. A cake of Pears is all soap and only soap, that is why it lasts so much longer than ordinary kinds”.
So successful was Barratt’s advertising campaign that Pears Soap was truly, “in leading hotels, banks, clubs, steamship lines and hospitals throughout the world”.
Blissful Meals, thehistoricfoodie, aka Vickie Brady.©