Advertisement for Pear's Soap: c.1893
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Advertisement for Pear's Soap. The advertisement showing three children in ragged clothes with the message 'Their only want Pears soap' offers a simplistic view of poverty. From the late 19th century Pears linked their marketing campaign with the prevailing concept of the 'civilising mission' of Empire: soap stood for progress. Filthy bodies and clothing separated the rich from the poor. London's poor were often referred to as 'the great unwashed' It was hoped that the distribution of soap by charities would improve their health and quality of life.
1892 AD - 1894 AD