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Image of Lifebuoy soap advertising flyer

Soap for Saving Life

  • Lifebuoy Royal Disinfectant Soap advertising inset
  • Text from the back:
    Eminent medical men, officers of health, and trained nurses,
    recommend Lifebuoy Soap for use during epidemics.
  • 140 x 222mm (5½ x 8¾in)
  • circa 1895-1910

With the advent of coronavirus one of the protective measures is to wash your hands with a little soap and water for at least twenty seconds, soap is one of the most effective ways to get rid of COVID-19.

The English company, Lever Brothers founded by William Hesketh Lever, introduced the first anti-bacterial soap in 1895. The soap was marketed for use in the prevention of sickness and the preservation of health in the home and named "Lifebuoy" to represent the life-saving properties of the product.

To further reinforce the prospective customers life-saving belief in the soap the illustration records a momentous event on the night of 7 September 1838 when, Grace Darling, a lighthouse-keeper's daughter, rowed out with her father in stormy seas to rescue the surviving passengers and crew of the Forfarshire steamboat wrecked off the Farne Islands.


This regular feature shows special items from members’ own collections. Submissions by email should include a scan of the item.