Andrew Pears a farmers son from Mevagissey who invented the transparent soap.
Andrew Pears arrived in London in 1789 from his Mevagissey, Cornwall, where he had been born in 1768 and had trained as a barber. Little is known of his childhood in Cornwall.
He opened a barber's shop in the then fashionable residential area of Gerrard Street, Soho, and attracted the custom of many wealthy families. The upper classes cultivated a delicate white complexion - a tanned face was associated with the working class who toiled in the outdoors. Andrew Pears realised that there was a need for a gentle soap for these delicate complexions.
After much trial and error he found a way of removing the impurities and refining the base soap before adding the delicate perfume of English garden flowers. His product was a high quality soap, and had the additional benefit of being transparent. Soap refined in this way is transparent and makes longer lasting bubbles. The transparency was the unique product plus that established the image of Pears Soap. his method of mellowing and ageing each long lasting Pears Bar, for over two months, is still used today. Natural oils and pure glycerine are combined with the delicate fragrance of roesmary, cedar and thyme.
In 1835 he took on a partner, his grandson Francis Pears, and they moved to new premises at 55 Wells Street, just off Oxford Street.
Andrew Pears retired from business in 1838, leaving his grandson, Francis, to continue the business of the London-based firm of A & F Pears.
He died in 1845
Andrew Pears (his life and times at Spring Grove)
Return to Cornwall Famous People