Proctor and Gamble Company of Cincinnati first sold Ivory Soap in 1879. As you can see in the ad here on the right, early advertising illustration was produced in a minimalist way and from a purely practical aspect—so what you see is a pair of hands use a thread to divide the double-sized bar soap at the processed demarcation.
Walter Harrison Cady (1877-1970) Unknown artistIvory Soap, early 1900′s Ivory Soap, 1882 Advertising illustration for Proctor Advertising illustration for Ivory Soap and Gambles’ Ivory Soap appeared in The Independent (December 1882)
By 1896, the company ran its first color print ad in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Soon after they began hiring various illustrators such as W. Granville Smith, J. C. Leyendecker, and Jessie Willcox Smith, to produce their advertising illustrations. Among their amazing ads only one is by Walter Harrison Cady (see above). It is an illustration of two opposing tug-of-war groups of bugs and beetles standing in a clearing pushing and pulling a thread through the cake of Ivory Soap. What strikes me most about this illustration is that troop of insects is perfectly fitted out in period appropriate clothing and wearing shoes. They even hold onto the thread with their visibly articulated hands. (more…)