Lever Brothers

Lever Brothers

and his brother, James.

In 1885 they bought a small soap works in Warrington. Using glycerin and vegetable oils such as palm oil, rather than tallow, to manufacture soap, they produced a good, free-lathering soap, called "Sunlight Soap", at a rate of 450 tons per week by 1888. Larger premises were built on marshes at Bromborough Pool on the Wirral Peninsula at what became "Port Sunlight".

Lever Brothers was one of several British companies that took a interest in the welfare of its employees.cn|date=April 2008 The model village of Port Sunlight was developed between 1888 and 1914 adjoining the soap factory to accommodate the company's staff in good quality housing, with high architectural standards and many community facilities.

By 1900 "Lifebuoy", "Lux" and "Vim" brands had been added and subsidiaries had been set up in the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Germany and elsewhere. By 1911 the company had its own oil palm plantations in the Congo and the Solomon Islands. Lever Brothers Ltd also acquired other soap companies including A&F Pears, Gossage's of Widnes, Crosfield's of Warrington, Hazlehurst & Sons of Runcorn and Hudson's of Liverpool.

The company grew and operated until 1930, when it merged with a Dutch company, Margarine Unie, to form Unilever, the first modern multinational company. The Lever Brothers name was kept for a time as an imprint, as well as the name of the US subsidiary, Lever Brothers Company, and a Canadian subsidiary, Lever Brothers Ltd.

Among its presidents was Charles Luckman in the 1950s who would champion the construction of the Lever House in New York City. Luckman would leave the company before the building's completion to achieve a notable architect career on his own including the design of Madison Square Garden, the Theme Building and master plan for Los Angeles International Airport, Aon Center and initial buildings of the Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E3DD1139F93BA15752C0A96F958260&scp=1&sq=Charles%20Luckman&st=cse Charles Luckman, Architect Who Designed Penn Station's Replacement, Dies at 89 - New York Times - January 28, 1999] ]

ee also

* Lever Brothers Factory originally located in Balmain, New South Wales, Australia
* Port Sunlight

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