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Williams Mug Shaving Soap
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Object ID 003948

Object Name Williams Mug Shaving Soap

Object Desc One box containing a cake of Williams Mug shaving soap. White box with blue lettering and design.

Collection General Collection

Accession # CMY003529a-c

Alternate ID

General Category History

Category Personal Care


Source Category Found In Collection

Accession Date JAN 1,1991


Location Barber Shop Exhibit

Object Date

Start Year Range 1935

End Year Range 1960

Status On Exhibit

Object Keywords shaving,soap,barber shop,Williams,Mug,shaving soap,

Title Williams Mug Shaving Soap

Description (a) is a square white cardboard box with dark blue ink. Front and back of box has a blue circle in the center with a shaving mug that has lather on the top and a brush handle sticking out of the foam. Inside the circle it says "Wiliams Famous for its Lather". Sides of the box say "Makes a big, rich lather", "Williams Mug Shaving Soap", "Does not dry on the face, but leaves your skin soft and smooth", and "Made by the J.B. Williams Co., Glastonbury, Conn., U.S.A. Established 1840". Inside flap of box says "After every shave, use Williams New Ice Blue Aqua Velva After-Shave Lotion New cooling action! New he-man scent! " Inside the box is a round cake of white soap (c) that has "The J.B. Williams Co. U.S.A. " stamped on one side and "Williams Mug Shaving Soap" and a Mug and brush stamped on the other side. The soap is wrapped in a waxy paper (b) with blue ink that has an advertisement for Ice Blue Aqua Velva aftershave.


Approx Collection Date

Height 1.25

Length 2.75

Width 2.75

Depth 0

Diameter 0

Circumference 0

Weight 0

Unit of Measure Inches/ounces

Dimension Details Measurements of box

Quantity 1



Site Details

Place of Origin

Maker J. B. Williams Co.

Maker Details James Baker Williams made Williams' Genuine Yankee Soap in 1840, the first manufactured soap for use in shaving mugs. In 1847, he moved to Glastonbury, Connecticut, where he continued to make shaving soap. Around 1848 the name was changed to the James B. Williams and Company. In 1885, a joint stock company under the name of J. B. Williams Company was formed. James Williams supervised many aspects of the company until shortly before his death in 1907. The Williams family continued to manage the company until it was sold in 1957 to a New York based conglomerate, Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The new owner moved the Williams Company to Cranford, New Jersey in 1960, adopting the name J.B. Williams Company. In 1971, the J.B. Williams Company was sold to Nabisco, and in 1977, Glastonbury Toiletries closed.

Maker Mark


(click for full image)

Image Caption CMY3529a-c



Date JAN 23,2016

Summary Fair

Assessor Kayla Sutherland

Notes Box is faded and discolored. Stained in several places. The number "15" is written on the back in black ink. Box is dented on one side. Interior paper is discolored. Paper is very waxy feeling and has soap residue on paper. Paper is ripped in a few places where soap cake has ripped through. Soap is dried and brittle, has white spots on it. Paper creases have been embedded into soap cake.