Palmolive (soap)

Palmolive logo 1899
Palmolive logo 1899
Name: "Palmolive"

Category: Health - Beauty

Subcategory: Soap

Inventor - Producer: B. J. Johnson Soap Co. (founded by Burdett J. Johnson in 1864, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, as B. J. Johnson & Company, renamed B. J. Johnson Soap Company in 1894, then The Palmolive Company in 1917, under the management of Burdett's son Caleb Elliott Johnson)

Production start: 1898 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

First price: 10 cents a cake

Features: The original formula of Palmolive Soap was composed primarily of palm oil, olive oil, and cocoa butter.

Interesting facts: In 1864 Burdett J. Johnson, native from New York, estabilished the B. J. Johnson & Company, a soap manufacturing business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A few years later Burdett's son Caleb Elliott Johnson entered the father's business: initially as a worker, then as a traveling salesman and regular employee of the company. On December 31, 1894, the company was renamed B. J. Johnson Soap Company, and Caleb Johnson was made vice president until 1902, when his father died and he succeeded the presidency. During these years - exactly in 1898, the company introduced the Palmolive Soap, so called after its formula that included palm and olive oils. In 1917 the corporation was renamed The Palmolive Company, having a run of success over the years – relying heavily on advertising: the product proved wildly popular, thanks in large part to an advertising campaign that promoted it as an exotic cleanser that would have been favored in the age of the Pharaohs. By the early 1900s, Palmolive was the world's best-selling soap and a full line of Palmolive cosmetics soon followed; in 1928, the company merged with Colgate and the resulting firm, Colgate-Palmolive, still exists today.

Slogan (1899): «The new Luxury - made of Palm and Olive Oils»

Property: Colgate-Palmolive Company

Producer website:

Palmolive Soap 1910
Palmolive Soap as it appeared in 1910 advertisements

Palmolive Soap, ad August 22, 1899
Palmolive Soap, ad August 25, 1899
Palmolive Soap, ad August 29, 1899
Palmolive Soap, ad September 1, 1899
Palmolive Soap, ad September 3, 1899
Palmolive Soap, first advertisements in newspapers (The Saint Paul globe, St. Paul, Minn., 1899, from top: August 22, 25, 29, September 1, 3)

Palmolive Soap, ad April 1904
Palmolive Soap advertisement (The Century illustrated monthly magazine, April 1904)

Palmolive Soap, ad March 1910
Palmolive Soap advertisement: «The Easy Way To Beauty-Free» (Collier's, March 1910)

Palmolive Soap, ad March 1915
Palmolive Soap advertisement: «How the Grecian Mother Bathed her Baby» (The American Magazine, March 1915)

Palmolive Soap, ad August 1916
Palmolive Soap advertisement: «Ours the Greater Luxury» (The Ladies' Home Journal, August 1916, art by Coles Phillips)

Palmolive Soap, ad June 1917
Palmolive Soap advertisement: «Buying Palmolive 3,000 Years Ago» (People's Home Journal, June 1917, art by Willy Pogany)

Palmolive Soap, ad 1918
Palmolive Soap advertisement: «When Ancient Egypt Was Young» (1918, art by Neysa McMein)

Palmolive Soap, ad May 1919
Palmolive Soap advertisement: «The Oldest of Toilet Requisites» (The Ladies' Home Journal, May 1919, art by Coles Phillips)

Palmolive Soap, ad 1920
Palmolive Soap advertisement: «Re-Incarnation of Beauty» (1920, art by Neysa McMein)

Palmolive old factory
"A Day in the Palmolive Factory", pamphlet in Pdf (The Palmolive Company, 1925) «Dedicated to the sales force of The Palmolive Company by the advertising department»

Burdett J. Johnson and his son Caleb Elliott Johnson
The entrepreneurs who launched the Palmolive brand in 1898: Burdett J. Johnson (Buffalo, April 14, 1826 - Milwaukee, August 23, 1902), founder of B. J. Johnson & Company in 1864 (The Palmolive Company in 1917), and his son Caleb Elliott Johnson (Buffalo, June 7, 1857 - Jacksonville, August 8, 1924), who served as vice-president (1894-1902) and president (1902-1924) of the company.

Palmolive Soap in 2020
Palmolive Soap, advanced versions (2020)