Palmolive Prototype Soap Box

Palmolive Prototype Soap Box

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In 1939, Walter Landor arrived in the United States to help install the British training pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. At twenty-six years old, Landor had left his home in Germany to study art and design in Britain, where he became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of Industrial Artists. With whispers of war circulating around Europe, Landor decided to stay in the United States and travelled to the West Coast in search of design work. In 1941, Landor and his new wife Josephine Martinelli founded Walter Landor and Associates (today Landor) in their San Francisco apartment. The company specialized in packaging and label design for a number of iconic brands ranging from Marlboro cigarettes to Aunt Jemima to Sara Lee. As the company expanded, Landor’s base of operations moved from his home through several locations until it settled in 1962 on the Klamath, a docked ferryboat in the San Francisco Bay that would become an iconic part of Landor’s own brand.
Palmolive (founded in 1898 by BJ Johnson Soap Company and merged with Colgate in 1928), became a worldwide leader in the self-care market. In the 1960s, Walter Landor and Associates redesigned Palmolive products’ market image. Walter Landor proposed an embossment on green foil to provide a luxurious, modern appeal to housewives. The simple design also highlights the Palmolive logo.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Soap Box
overall: 9 cm x 5.5 cm x 2.5 cm; 3 9/16 in x 2 3/16 in x in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Bequest of Walter and Josephine Landor
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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