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Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
was a British manufacturing company founded in 1885 by brothers William Hesketh Lever (1851–1925) and James Darcy Lever (1854–1916). They invested in and successfully promoted a new soap-making process invented by chemist William Hough Watson. In 1930, Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
merged with Margarine Unie to form Unilever.

Contents

1 History 2 Employee welfare and use of forced labor

2.1 Use of forced labor in the Congo

3 Brands 4 Unilever 5 Presidents 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] Starting with a small grocery business begun by his father, William Lever and his brother James entered the soap business in 1885 by buying a small soap works in Warrington. The brothers teamed up with a Bolton
Bolton
chemist, William Hough Watson, who became an early business partner. Watson invented the process which resulted in a new soap, using glycerin and vegetable oils such as palm oil, rather than tallow.[1] The resulting soap was a good, free-lathering soap, at first named Honey Soap
Soap
then later named "Sunlight Soap". Production reached 450 tons per week by 1888. Larger premises were built on marshes at Bromborough
Bromborough
Pool on the Wirral Peninsula
Wirral Peninsula
at what became Port Sunlight.[2] Though the company was named Lever Brothers, William Lever's brother and co-director James never took a major part in running the business. He fell ill in 1895, probably as a result of diabetes, and resigned his directorship two years later.[3] Employee welfare and use of forced labor[edit] Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
was one of several British companies that took an interest in the welfare of its British employees.[4] The model village of Port Sunlight
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. Use of forced labor in the Congo[edit]

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However, in the Congo, Lever Brothers, through their subsidiary Huileries du Congo Belge (HCB), utilized forced labour.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] Palm cutters failing to meet requirements regarding compulsory cultivation of crops were liable to prison sentences, where the chicotte, a type of whip, was used.[15] A decree issued 16 March 1922 by the Belgian government in the Congo, which remained in force for the remainder of the colonial period, albeit with a few modifications, made provision for prison sentences of two to three months for "dishonesty" (reneging upon their legal obligations to work), and prison sentences of a fortnight for violations of work discipline. Francois Beissel was dissatisfied with a number of the measures laid down in the decree, and left record of this in a letter dated 22 November 1922, which he wrote to Doctor Albert Duren, Inspector of Industrial Hygiene. Regarding absenteeism, Beissel wrote, "As the man hired could not renege more seriously upon his obligations than by abstaining from work without a plausible excuse, I would venture to hope that the prison sentences recommended would be applied with all due rigor in the case of unjustified, repeated absences. I would be glad to receive some reassurance in this regard."[16] Reports by Rene Mouchet and Victor Daco, shows that some limited improvements were made to the condition of the HCB's workers by 1928 and 1929. However, the HCB was still using forced labor. Daco recommended that local workers should be fed just as imported workers were. Accommodations at many camps had been improved, and there were houses made of baked brick or adobe. However some camps, such as the villages of the Yanzi, were still in a deplorable state. Overcrowding continued to be an issue, as houses were too few in number, in Daco's opinion. Daco believed the existing hospitals were in good state, but that there were two few of them, and that the number of beds should be quadrupled.[17] An report signed on 29th January 1931 by Pierre Ryckmans and two others appointed by the minister discusses the quota system in use by the HCB at the time. Ryckmans' report quoted some directives issued by company headquarters at Leverville for Kwenge sector, dated 23rd March 1930. One of the directives stated that, "It is your responsibility to organise the cutters' deliveries so as to obtain on a regular bases an average production of 40 crates per month." Ryckmans recommended that the quotas should vary throughout the year to correlate to the rate at which clusters ripened. The Ryckmans report also stated, "We reckon that the employment of state messengers ought generally to be condemned. They understand just one thing, namely, that they are responsible for getting people to work, and they are ready to use any means possible to carry out this mission." In short, as Jules Marchal summarized the report, "the exploitation of palm groves in Lusanga circle was a system of forced labour pure and simple."[18] Brands[edit] 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 Belgian Congo
Belgian Congo
and the Solomon Islands. Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
Ltd also acquired other soap companies including A&F Pears, Gossage's of Widnes, Watson's of Leeds, Crosfield's of Warrington, Hazlehurst & Sons of Runcorn
Runcorn
and Hudson's of Liverpool. The town Leverville (the present-day Lusanga) was founded in the Bandundu district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, named after William Lever. Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
rode the cresting late-Victorian consumer revolution to build a vast worldwide industrial empire. Four years after William Lever's death in 1925, his enterprises were amalgamated as Unilever. By 1930, it employed 250,000 people and in terms of market value, was the largest company in Britain.[4] Unilever[edit] The company grew and operated until 1930, when it merged with a Dutch margarine company, Margarine Unie, to form Unilever, the first modern multinational company.[4] As part of the agreement, Lever Brothers changed its name to Unilever
Unilever
plc, and forms the British half of the dual-listed company. Although the two companies have separate shareholders and stock exchange listings, they have a common board of directors and essentially operate as one company. The Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
name was kept for a time as an imprint, as well as the name of the US subsidiary, Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
Company, and a Canadian subsidiary, Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
Limited. Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
was sold to a US capital firm Pensler Capital Corporation and renamed Korex in 2008. Korex Don Valley assumed operations of the Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
Toronto plant. It has since closed and gone bankrupt. The Toronto plant is now being redeveloped into an office and industrial district by First Gulf Corporation.[19] Presidents[edit] Among its presidents was Charles Luckman
Charles Luckman
who in the 1950s championed the construction of the Lever House
Lever House
in New York City. Luckman left the company before the building's completion, moving on to a notable architectural career, including the design of Madison Square Garden, the Theme Building
Theme Building
and master plan for Los Angeles International Airport, the Aon Center, and major buildings at the Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center.[20] See also[edit]

Breeze detergent Lever & Kitchen Lever Brothers Factory
Lever Brothers Factory
originally located in Balmain, New South Wales, Australia Port Sunlight

References[edit]

^ Jeannifer Filly Sumayku, Unilever: Providing Enjoyable and Meaningful Life to Customers, The President Post, 22 March 2010 ^ "Unilever: A company history". BBC. 22 February 2000. Retrieved 9 July 2011.  ^ Macqueen, Adam (2005). The King of Sunlight: How William Lever Cleaned Up the World. Unilever
Unilever
first started out in new zealand wellington petone but then later on got moved to australia. Random House. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-552-15087-3.  ^ a b c Brian Lewis (2008). "So Clean": Lord Leverhulme, Soap
Soap
and Civilization. Manchester: Manchester University Press.  ^ Marchal, Jules (2008). Lord Leverhulme's Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo. Translated by Martin Thom. Introduced by Adam Hochschild. London: Verso. ISBN 978-1-84467-239-4.  First published as Travail forcé pour l'huile de palme de Lord Leverhulme: L'histoire du Congo 1910-1945, tome 3 by Editions Paula Bellings in 2001. ^ Rich, Jeremy (Spring 2009). "Lord Leverhulme's Ghost: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo (review)". Project Muse. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ Buell, Raymond Leslie (1928). The native problem in Africa, Volume II. New York: The Macmillan Company. pp. 540–544.  ^ Lewis, Brian (2008). "Sunlight for Savages". So Clean: Lord Leverhulme, Soap
Soap
and Civilisation. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 188–190.  ^ Edmondson, Brad (2014). "10: The Sale Agreements". Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry's. San Francisco, California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.  ^ Makelele, Albert. This is a Good Country: Welcome to the Congo. pp. 43–44.  ^ De Witte, Ludo (January 9, 2016). "Congolese oorlogstranen: Deportatie en dwangarbeid voor de geallieerde oorlogsindustrie (1940-1945)". DeWereldMorgen.be. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ "Lord Leverhulme". History. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ Mitchell, Donald (2014). The Politics of Dissent: A Biography of E D Morel. SilverWood Books.  ^ "Un autre regard sur l'Histoire Congolaise: Guide alternatif de l'exposition de Tervuren" (PDF). p. 14. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ Marchal, Jules (2008). "Afterword". Lord Leverhulme's Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo. Translated by Martin Thom. Introduced by Adam Hochschild. London: Verso. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-84467-239-4.  First published as Travail forcé pour l'huile de palme de Lord Leverhulme: L'histoire du Congo 1910-1945, tome 3 by Editions Paula Bellings in 2001. ^ Marchal, Jules (2008). "1: The Early Years (1911-1922)". Lord Leverhulme's Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo. Translated by Martin Thom. Introduced by Adam Hochschild. London: Verso. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-1-84467-239-4.  First published as Travail forcé pour l'huile de palme de Lord Leverhulme: L'histoire du Congo 1910-1945, tome 3 by Editions Paula Bellings in 2001. ^ Marchal, Jules (2008). "5: In the Basongo and Lusanga Circles (1923-1930)". Lord Leverhulme's Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo. Translated by Martin Thom. Introduced by Adam Hochschild. London: Verso. pp. 94–98. ISBN 978-1-84467-239-4.  First published as Travail forcé pour l'huile de palme de Lord Leverhulme: L'histoire du Congo 1910-1945, tome 3 by Editions Paula Bellings in 2001. ^ Marchal, Jules (2008). "8: Pierre Ryckmans' Report on Lusanga (1931)". Lord Leverhulme's Ghosts: Colonial Exploitation in the Congo. Translated by Martin Thom. Introduced by Adam Hochschild. London: Verso. pp. 139–142. ISBN 978-1-84467-239-4.  ^ "Old soap factory getting a facelift". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2015.  ^ Muschamp, Herbert (1999-01-28). "Charles Luckman, Architect Who Designed Penn Station's Replacement, Dies at 89". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
at Wikimedia Commons

v t e

Unilever

Subsidiaries

Current

Alberto-Culver Hindustan Unilever Maille Unilever
Unilever
Australasia Unilever
Unilever
Bangladesh Unilever
Unilever
Ghana Unilever
Unilever
Indonesia Unilever
Unilever
Nepal Unilever
Unilever
Philippines Unilever
Unilever
Pakistan

Former

Elizabeth Arden, Inc. BiFi Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein
(Fragrances only) Fabergé Gorton's of Gloucester Mac Fisheries Palm Line United Africa Company

Brands

Beverages

Brooke Bond Lipton PG Tips Scottish Blend Tazo

Food

Becel Ben & Jerry's Bertolli
Bertolli
(except olive oil and U.S. frozen foods) Bovril Colman's Conimex Continental Country Crock Cup-a-Soup Flora Grom Hellmann's/Best Foods Hertog I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Imperial Margarine Kibon Knorr

Chicken Tonight (Netherlands)

Lady's Choice Maille Marmite Pot Noodle Pot Rice Rafhan Sana Selecta Spry Stork Talenti Unox

Heartbrand Ice Cream Division

Calippo Cornetto GB Glace Glidat Strauss HB Kibon Kwality Wall's Langnese Magnum Olá Selecta Solero Streets

Golden Gaytime Paddle Pop

Viennetta Wall's HB Wall's Good Humor-Breyers (Good Humor, Breyers, Klondike, (Choco Taco), Popsicle, Dickie Dee)

Home products

Bio-Tex Breeze Cif Comfort Closan Domestos Finitex Lever 2000 Neutral OMO Persil
Persil
( Persil
Persil
Power & Persil
Persil
Service) (brand owned by Henkel) Probat Rinso
Rinso
(except the United States) Seventh Generation Sunlight Surf (except for North America)

Personal care

Axe/Lynx Bed Head Brylcreem Clear Close-Up Degree Dove Dollar Shave Club Faberge Helene Curtis Impulse Lakmé Lifebuoy Lux Mentadent
Mentadent
(except for North America) Noxzema Pears soap Pepsodent Pond's Prince Matchabelli Q-tips Radox Rexona Salon Selectives Signal Simple Suave Sunsilk Sure Timotei TRESemmé Twink VO5 (except the United States) Vaseline zendium

Predecessors

Lever Brothers Margarine Unie W. H. Burford & Sons

Places

Colworth House Lever Brothers
Lever Brothers
Factory Lever House Lipton
Lipton
Institute of Tea Port Sunlight Unilever
Unilever
House Unilever
Unilever
Leeds Unilever
Unilever
Research & Development Port Sunlight
Port Sunlight
Laboratory

People

Antonius Johannes Jurgens William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme Paul Polman Morris Tabaksblat Samuel van den Bergh Sidney J. van den Bergh Simon van den Bergh Eugenio Minvielle Lagos

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