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The Soap War of 1939

  In 1939 soap was essential for cleanliness – plain bars of soap, there were no body washes or pump soaps.  Deodorant was fairly new and not everyone used or approved of it, so soap had to combat body odour, or try to. The advertising was intense as companies fought for consumer loyalty – these ads are all from the Australian Women’s Weekly in December 1939.

vintage 1930s rexona ad  

vintage 1930s soap adLux paid big money and used movie stars in their ads-

If only consumers had a crystal ball they probably would have stocked up on as much soap as possible, as it became almost impossible to get during the war.


About thewartimewoman

I love history, fashion, art and design, especially of the 1930s to the 1960s. I am also a mother, wife, interior decorator & a treasure hunter who wishes she could drive a 1933 Delage. I studied Architecture at Melbourne university, briefly, and completed a Diploma of Art in Interior Design at the Melbourne College of Decoration in 1991. I have worked on an off as a decorator ever since, in between stints as a florist, balloon artist, having my five children and helping my husband in his law firm. in my spare time I love researching history, blogging and gardening.

3 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    I remember by the time I reached my teens and wanted to use a deodorant, we had a bottle of liquid that you dabbed on with a cotton ball. Roll-on appeared and it was so much nicer to use.

  2. Thank you for following my blog. My apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I love your articles and decided to follow you as well.

  3. My Nana grew up in the outback. I don’t know about face soap, but she never used any moisturizer on her face but olive oil. When she got older, if she wanted a “face lift” when she went out, she’d rub her finger around the inside of a fresh egg shell and rub the liquid white under her eyes in an upward motion. I do it now, too. It works like a charm and is virtually free.


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