The founder of Pears soap, Andrew Pears, was originally a barber from the Cornish village of Megavissey.
He arrived in London in 1789 and opened a shop in Soho, London, where he made powders, creams and other beauty aids used by the rich to counteract the drying effects of the inferior soaps available at that time.
Visiting wealthy families in their own homes, Pears realised that a pure and gentle soap would be kinder to the skin and he soon perfected a soap for his wealthy clients to use.
The soap was also transparent and it provided for Pears Soap, a uniqueness that set it apart from its competitors.
Pears was far more concerned about the quality of his products than the volume sold, and he sold to an exclusive customer base without extensive advertising.
Some 50 years later, his grandson, Francis Pears joined the business and they moved the business to another shop near Oxford Street.
The business flourished and Andrew retired a few years later, leaving the running of the business to Francis.
Pears won the prize medal for soap at the Great Exhibition in 1851. Francis Pears expanded the business in order to compete with the growing number of rivals, who attracted customers from the increasing number of middle class customers.
Francis opened new offices in Bloomsbury, and a factory in Middlesex in 1862, managed by his young son Andrew.