First Bar of Sunlight Soap c.1884
In 1884 in northern England, Lever & Co, a family grocery business, began producing a new soap containing copra, or pine kernel oil, to help it lather more easily than traditional soaps made of animal fats. Unusually for the time, William Lever sells it wrapped in distinctive packs with a brand name – Sunlight. The soap becomes very popular with 450 tons of Sunlight being made every week. The scale of the business encourages William Lever to buy land in order to build a factory and homes on the Wirral peninsula, with a purpose-built village, which became known as Port Sunlight, for its workers providing a high standard of housing, amenities and leisure facilities.
Image reproduced with kind permission of Unilever plc and group companies.