Ref NoGB1752.LBL/BB
Alt Ref NoOFR:
LevelSub collection
TitleBenjamin Brooke & Company Limited
DescriptionCompany name: Benjamin Brooke & Co. Ltd
Registered number: 92675
Date of incorporation: 25 March 1907
Date of acquisition: January 1899
Date sold/struck off: 22 February 2000


Benjamin Brooke & Co Ltd was a US firm, from Philadelphia, acquired by Lever Brothers during January 1899 for their scouring soap, called Monkey Brand. This company, owned by Sidney and Henry Gross, was the first company purchased by Lever Brothers. The business also included Benjamin Brooke & Co, England (1896). The latter was wound up and the business absorbed by Lever Brothers Limited; the manufacture of Monkey Brand was transferred from Philadelphia to Port Sunlight. A new company, Benjamin Brooke & Co. Ltd was incorporated in England on 25 March 1907 to carry on the trade name Monkey Brand.

The advertising of Monkey Brand contained the celebrated slogan `Won't Wash Clothes' and its success led the way for the Refined Monkey Brand and later Vim (see separate information sheet). Refined Monkey Brand was introduced in October 1903 and was recommended as a dentifrice, among other things.

Sidney Gross was on the Board of Lever Brothers from 1899 until 1910. It was Gross who introduced William Hesketh Lever to Phil May, one of the leading contemporary comic artists.

During the final three months of 1911 Lever Brothers and Benjamin Brooke & Co Ltd were involved in litigation against the Masbro Equitable Pioneers Society Limited (defendants). Lever Brothers and Benjamin Brooke & Co claimed an injunction to restrain Masbro from passing off any soap not manufactured by the plaintiffs as the plaintiffs' soap. Masbro were members of a co-operative Wholesale Society that had decided to discontinue the sale of private makers' soap and offer and sell soaps made by CWS. The plaintiffs instituted a series of test purchases and called witnesses who stated that CWS soap had been supplied in substitution for Lux and Monkey Brand. Masbro offered to give an undertaking that no substitution should take place in the future. The court held that there had been no actual intention to deceive and the problem was accidental. Lever Brothers filed for an injunction and an appeal. During February 1912 the appeal was heard and dismissed with costs.

The company was renamed Bioclean Developments Ltd on 4 December 1992 and was struck off on 22 February 2000.
Date1892-1951
Extent3 boxes
Access StatusOpen
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2020