Historical information

Shaving cream is a cream applied to the face, or wherever else hair grows, to facilitate shaving. The use of cream achieves three effects: lubricates the cutting process; swells keratin; and de-sensitizes skin. Shaving creams commonly consist of an emulsion of oils, soaps or surfactants, and water.
James Baker Williams was born in 1818 in Lebanon, Connecticut USA and, in 1834, began employment with F. and H.C. Woodbridge, a general store located in Manchester. Williams was offered half-interest in the store in 1838, after which its name was changed to Keeny and Williams. Two years later, Williams sold his interest in the store, but retained his share in the drug department. He began experimenting with various soaps to determine which were best for shaving, and eventually developed Williams' Genuine Yankee Soap, the first manufactured soap for use in shaving mugs. In 1847, Williams moved his enterprise to a rented gristmill on William Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut, and his brother, William S. Williams, joined the firm around 1848, when the firm's name was changed to the James B. Williams and Company. William's shaving soaps were sold throughout the United States and Canada and James Williams supervised many aspects of the company until shortly before his death in 1907 at the age of eighty-eight. The Williams family continued to manage the company until it was sold in 1957. By the early 1900s, the company was known throughout the world. In addition to its line of shaving creams, the firm produced talcum powder, toilet soaps, and other toilet preparations.
The original 1847 factory is still standing in Glastonbury and, in 1979, was converted into a condominium complex. I In 1983 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
1927 - 1990 Salmond and Spraggon (Australia) Limited , Sydney , New South Wales, was registered as a company on 10 June 1927 following the liquidation of Salmond and Spraggon (Australia) Limited known as the Old Company. The company distributed household cleaning and mineral, metal and chemical wholesaling, pharmaceutical wholesaling throughout Australia on behalf of manufacturers. In 1990 the company was taken over by Alberto Culver, a manufacturer of hair and skin products.

Physical description

A clear glass jar with a screw lid containing 'Williams Shaving Cream'

Inscriptions & markings

Back Label : The contents of this jar are guaranteed to be / The J.B.WILLIAMS Luxury Shaving Cream Jar has been changed to meet the Wartime conditions but / the cream is of the same high quality / made in Australia for / J.B. WILLIAMS COMPANY / Glastonbury, Conn. U.S.A. / Vendors / SALMOND & SPRAGGON (AUST.) PTY.LTD. / All States