Tag Archives: ganong brothers

Soaps of the ‘ Home Cleaning Institute’ — Today it is Surprise Soap!

Soaps of the ‘ Home Cleaning Institute’ — Today it is Surprise Soap!
1923 Almonte Gazette

I think I have been fascinated by soap since my younger years. I watched my late grandmother try every single new soap made to mindkind through the years. Mary Louise Deller Knight was not a fastidious cleaner, much like her granddaughter, but she loved new things and soap was one of them. For years I watched the old MIR soap stand by the kitchen sink gathering gobs of hard residue knowing that frolicing bacteria was gathering on that yellow plastic bottle. She always went back to MIR or her Sunlight Soap after she tired of a new soap and I often wondered why she bothered. But seeing that her grandaughter bowled over with a great smile when the Mr. Clean Freak showed up at the door yesterday, I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Jul 1979, Thu  •  Page 33

The Factory who was owned by the Ganong Brothers ( yes the chocolatey ones) closed in 1946 and the real surprise is the factory disappeared into the earth and was not found until a collection of milling stones was unearthed this month at the construction site of St. Stephen’s new civic centre. See video below.

As they say SURPRISE!!!

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
06 Apr 1922, Thu  •  Page 13

So what was Surprise Soap?

I thought that it had some sort of surprise inside, but there was none. Instead the surprise was that you were supposed to get your clothes cleaner.

Canadian grocer January-June 1908. If your customers say SURPRISE Soap is thebest Soap, the most economical to use, and want it,you give it to them of course—its business to do so.A satisfied customer brings you more money thanone whose wants are ignored and overlooked.. Made by The St. Croix Soap Manufacturing Company BRANCHES—Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver,West Indies. Factory at St. Stephen, N.B-

Ottawa Daily Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Aug 1896, Sat  •  Page 8

In 1896 at the Toronto Fair look there was a huge Surprise soap exhibit. There was a big cake of Surprise soap stationed at the Heintzman piano on exhibition. Some one would end up having that piano for nothing if a guess won it– free of charge. The object of this guessing contest was to promote Surprise soap; and to know its good qualities, you will then use it. That’s what we We are satisfied to give this handsome present and get nothing in return but have you interested in Surprise soap. It is the best soap. THE SURPRISE SOAP MFG. CO., St. Stephen, N. B.

Photo click

Crews at a worksite in the New Brunswick town of St. Stephen have found the remains of a long forgotten soap factory – once a big industry in the U.S. border area.

A collection of milling stones was unearthed this month at the construction site of St. Stephen’s new civic centre.

“We got down to…about eight metres in the ground when we got the last ones out. They were way down. They’d been there for some time,” says project manager Kingsley Bailey. “They were in the heavy compacted clay at the bottom.”

Bailey says the area was once home to the St. Croix Soap Manufacturing Company, which was founded in the 1880s by the Ganong Brothers – the same brothers who went into the candy-making business a few years earlier.

The company made Surprise Soap which was marketed across Canada and in the United States and was a big seller for decades. The plant closed in 1946.


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The Windsor Star
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
20 May 1937, Thu  •  Page 30