When Harley Procter decided to develop a creamy white soap to compete with imported castile soaps, he asked his cousin, chemist James Gamble, to formulate the product. One day after the soap when into production, a factory worker (who remains anonymous) forgot to switch off the master mixing machine when he went to lunch and too much air was whipped into a batch of soap. Consumers, delighted by the floating soap, demanded more, and from then on, Procter and Gamble gave all white soap an extra-long whipping.
Harley Procter, considering a long list of new names for his white soap, was inspired one Sunday morning in church when the pastor read Psalm 45: "All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad."
A chemist's analysis of Ivory soap indicated that 56/100 of the ingredients did not fall into the category of pure soap. Harley Procter subtracted from 100, and wrote the slogan "99-44/100% Pure" which first appeared in Ivory's advertising in 1882. "It Floats" was added to Ivory's slogan in 1891.
Ivory Soap is the best-selling soap in America because the air-laden bars dissolve twice as fast as other brands, compelling consumers to buy twice as much.
Approximately 30 billion cakes of Ivory Soap had been manufactured by 1990.