Look what we found! This must be from the early fifties although there’s no date on it. When we first produced PC49 the retail price was 1s/3d, which is what it says here and that was in 1950 when you also had to use a ration coupon.
PC49, and our othr figures soaps were made with a special fragrance (and soap) called Tah. We bought soap noodles (raw soap supplied in sacks) from Lever Bros. (as they were then) and milled the soap before cutting into billets and stamping in our special moulds
Quite a few of the figure soaps had glass eyes. I don’t think we’d get away with that today! However, you can still get a safe gold paint, so if we ever wanted to make PC49 again, (who had gold buttons and helmet crest), the painting would be the least of our problems.
Pavel Danischewsky was the grandson of the original founders and the man who brought the soap company to England after leaving Berlin in the late 1930’s. During his life he witnessed many remarkable things. He was an inveterate story teller. I was lucky enough to hear a few and I remembered one the other day when the subject of ‘dacha’s came up. These were the summer houses that initially wealthy and subsequently ordinary Russians would have to escape from the city at the weekends in order to grow food and to breathe the country air.
PAVEL SMOKES TURKISH
The story is that while the family were escaping from Russia after losing their factory to the Bolsheviks, they spent some time in a dacha outside Moscow, before they could travel on to Berlin. Papa Danischewsky expressly forebade the young Pavel (who was a teenager at this time) from straying too far from the hideout as they were trying to keep a low profile. In this time of uncertainty, many dachas lay empty or abandoned as their owners stayed away or had ‘disappeared’. Pavel, being adventurous, instantly started exploring these properties and seeing what he could find. It appears he found some quite useful stuff but how that made it’s way back into the household without his father getting wind of it, I’m not sure. Anyway, one of the items of contraband he uncovered was a stash of Turkish cigarettes, which obviously he started smoking, and probably contributed to his lifetime habit. He said he felt bad though, not because he was defying his father, but that he couldn’t offer him any, as his dad liked to smoke and was reduced to making his own homemade cigarettes using dried leaves and cones of newspaper.
Just to put this era into context, one of the events Pavel witnessed was a rally with speeches by Leon Trotsky and VI Lenin.