Eva found the picture below still hanging on the wall of her Grandmother
Harlan's house. The house had been sitting empty for at least 16 years. Eva
says she remembers the picture from when she was a little girl. So we know it
had been hanging on that wall for at least 50 years and probably quite a bit
longer. Eva says she thinks she remembers that the picture was in some way
associated with some soap product.
We found the picture interesting. We hope you do too.
Here are a few projects and thoughts for our visitors:
- Let us know if you know anything about this picture? Maybe someone knows where it originally came from.
- When Eva was small she used to count the babies in the picture. How many do you see?
- Assuming it is associated with a soap product, how many uses for soap do you see in the picture?
- Look closely and you will see in the tree at the top of the picture the hole from the nail on which the picture hung on the wall in the old farmhouse.
- We realize that the picture is based on the Mother Goose nursery rhyme about the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe but we are more interested in who published it and why.
- We have several other old pictures. If you are interested let us know.
If there is enough interest we will put more of them on our old pictures page.
- Also check out the World War II Posters.
Click here to send your comments.
We will add the most interesting comments we receive to this page.
I have both pictures, mother goose & the merry-go-round my mother said
it was her grandmothers pictures she wrote to the Swan Soap company & they
sent her the prints my Mother is 58 years old & she said they were in her
Grannys house as long as she can remember & befor Mother has 2 older
brothers in their mid 60's & they were there then. Does anyone knoe how
old they are? thanks
Sender: April B Smith in Alabama
I have the same picture, another by the same artists the babies are on a
merry-go-round jumping off in a tub of soap suds. I have the tubing it came in
also the little certificates . It was made by Levers Bros. for Swan floating
soap. I have two cert. one saying 'here is your Swan baby picture hope it
brings your lots of smiles and chuckles, Your friend Mrs. Swanny is certainly
more than busy with her adorable brood! goes on to tell who the artists are,
Louise Rumely and Albert Stachle, it is printed on art paper. The other said
they were sorry it took so long to get it because paper shortage and
transportation difficulties replacements have been extremely hard to obtain.
Sender: Hayward Hite
I am responding to your request for info on your mystery print. This was one
of several prints from original artwork by Albert Staehle (who did the swans)
and Louise Rumely (who painted the babies) as part of an advertising promotion
in the 1940s for Swan Soap. I have one of the prints in my Albert Staehle
collection and they show up from time to time on eBay. I am writing a book
about Albert Staehle and his cocker spaniel "Butch."
Sender: Sharon Damkaer
The mystery picture is an old magazine ad for Swan Soap from the early
1940's. There was a whole series of these delightful ads featuring lots
of cute bare babies usually by the same artist. If you do a search on
ebay in the vintage paper section you'll find frequent listing for the
ads; that way you could get the exact date of the ad. Hope I've been
Sender: Meg Gilbert
I remember the Swan Babies pictures. My mother ordered them when I was
very young. As I remember, she sent wrappers from the soap and received
the posters. Somehow they got lost and I have always wanted to replace
them. The one I remember is of the babies sliding off the swan's back
and there was lots of bubbles. If you know where I could find copies of
these pictures at a reasonable price, please contact me.
Thanks for hosting the web site. Maybe I can find a piece of my past.
Sender: Joan Cox
In reference to the "mystery picture" of babies in a shoe. I found two in a
yard sale. They are apparently the third and fourth in a series of at least
four annual prints first published in 1942. One of these is babies on a
carrousel and the other is babies on a sailboat. A slip of paper is in each of
the origional tubes that my pictures are in. The papers say the prints were a
joint production of two artists, Louise Rumely, known for paintings of babies,
and Albert Staehle, known for paintings of birds. "Lever Brothers Company
makers of Swan Floating Soap" and "Swan's baby-mild for everything-pure as
fine castiles." are also printed on the paper. Any additional information
would be greatly appreciated.
By the way, these are available if anyone wants them.
Sender: Michael Graham
Hi there is 25 babies in the picture, I dont know the history to help you out
but it is absolutley adorable. By the way you guy's have done a great job on
this web site, I love the new and old pictures of Breathitt County. Keep up
the good work.
i have looked thru 100's of web pages looking for this picture..this picture
was hanging in my grandmothers attic (where all us kids slept) in kings mills
ohio..but here's the kicker..my grandparents were from breathitt co
ky!!!!..jessie jane strong and arco benjamin miller...small small world huh?
Sender: wonderdov ^v^
I have a picture along the same line that I am trying to find out about.
I am 63 years young or old depends on how you want to look at it.
When my mother was expecting me, she saved wrappers off of bar soap to
get the picture. My picture has the same babies playing on a carrousel,
there is also an old wash tub in front of the carrousel with babies in it.
Any information would really be helpful.
This picture is of the "Swan Babies," from the Swan Soap advertisements
dating back to the 1940s. At one time there was an ad campaign to send in box
tops to get a picture. I have the one, it is of the babies playing in a pool &
on a merry-go round of swans. My grandmother had ordered it when my dad was a
baby in 1941. The ads were on the "The Gracie Allen & George Burns Show" on
CBS. There were lots of magazine ads featuring the babies.
Here is an ad through "eBay", if you would like to see it.
I too remember the picture from my childhood. It was published in my
mother's nursery rhyme book. She was born in 1954. I'll see if she can
look at home and see who put the book out and what year it was
Sender: Rebecca Kiester.
At one time I had this same old print. About 16 years ago I found it in an
old house built in 1911 in Hopkinsville, Ky. The colors were pretty and I had
it framed and matted and gave it to my 1st grandchild who will soon be 16. I
do not know the story on the print, I don't think that mine was part of a
calendar but might have been. I think it had something to do with swan soap
Sender: Lois Bond Ringham.
The babies in a shoe was really a joy for me. We
are expecting our first grandchild any day now. We know that it will be a
boy. But we'd take anything that we get because the day that my daughter and
son-in-law got married they found out that he had cancer. After all the
radiation and chemo. we were told that they may not be able to have a baby..
Your pictures are a real welcome to me because of the memories that it bring
back to me. thanks
Sender: Pat Trent.
Thank you for an enjoyable visit to your site.
I am going to share this picture with my
parents as I feel I have seen it before as a child.
Again thank you for your efforts and lovely website
Last revised August 17, 2002.
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