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Swan soap ad from March, 1945.

Swan was a brand of soap introduced by the Lever Brothers Company in 1941 to compete with Ivory.[1] Swan was advertised as a soap that could be used in the kitchen as a hand soap or in the bathroom to bathe the baby.

Swan, like Ivory, was a floating soap, but Lever had developed and patented a new manufacturing method that both streamlined the process and resulted in a finer product more like milled soap. A typical advertisement boasted that Swan was "the white floating soap that's purer than the finest castiles". Lever and Procter & Gamble became embroiled in litigation over the process and products of it. Lever sued Procter & Gamble for patent infringement after the format of Ivory changed; the Appellate Court found that the patent had been infringed[2] and Procter & Gamble were required to pay $5.675 million to Lever.[3]

Lever Brothers used the Swan brand name to sponsor several radio programs, notably The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1941–1945), Joanie's Tea Room (1945–1947), The Bob Hope Show (1948–1949), and My Friend Irma (1947–1951).[4][5]

Swan's print ads were colorful works of art, and often featured children, babies, soapsuds and, of course, a swan. Some people had the Swan soap ad prints displayed on their wall at home. The art prints were made available to the public as promotional items by the company.

Swan Soap is no longer marketed.[when?]


  1. ^ Aaker, David A. (2009). Managing Brand Equity. Simon and Schuster. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-4391-8838-5.
  2. ^ Lever Bros. Co. v. Procter & Gamble Mfg. Co., 139 F.2d 633 (4th Cir. December 28, 1943).
  3. ^ Peale, Cliff (September 9, 2001). "Corporate Espionage Has Long History". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2015-02-04.
  4. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. pp. 105, 124, 371. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3.
  5. ^ Winn, J. Emmett; Brinson, Susan L. (2005). Transmitting the Past: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Broadcasting. University of Alabama Press. pp. 140, 146. ISBN 978-0-8173-5175-5.