Patriotic advertisement for “Schultz’s Star Soap”

[Schultz and Company], SCHULTZ’S STAR SOAP. PATENTED JANY. 1866. The Perfection of Family Soaps. [Zanesville, OH, 1870s-1880s?]
Lithographic broadside printed in blue and red, 26 ½”h x 19 7/8”w plus margins.
$2,500

A striking example of antique advertising with a patriotic theme, produced by a pioneer in direct-to-consumer marketing.

The Schultz family of Zanesville, Ohio entered the soap business in the 1850s, when William Schultz purchased an existing soap factory. He brought his son Robert and nephew John Hoge into the business, and on his retirement in 1866 they took the reins of the firm, renamed it Schultz and Company, and turned it into a marketing powerhouse.

“With much hard work and advertising, the soap company became famous nationwide when it began selling its “Star Soap”. Each bar of soap was individually wrapped – 25 wrappers would get you a colored picture. They also published books of nursery rhymes. A picture accompanied each nursery rhyme where Star Soap was somehow incorporated into a theme, thus giving them huge exposure. Another product they produced was Gold Soap. Hoge sent a coach drawn by four white horses through the streets of New York and Boston to advertise their Gold Soap. It was packed into a wooden crate, and in each crate, one bar of soap would have a gold dollar inside, what a surprise!” (Ancestry.com)

Robert and John made a fortune, some of which they invested in the Schultz Opera House, which opened in Zanesville in 1880. Robert’s son William eventually took over the business, and in 1903 sold it to Procter & Gamble for $846,000.

 

Condition

Folds flattened, minor scattered soiling, and a few minor mends on verso.