Almanac: A clean business

And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: May 7th, 1925, 92 years ago today … the day British manufacturer William Lever died at age 73.

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A Lifebuoy soap ad c. 1900.

CBS News

Together with his brother James, William Lever founded a soap company known, appropriately enough, as Lever Brothers.

The brothers found success with Sunlight Soap, and in the 1890s expanded into the United States, where Lifebuoy Soap became a familiar brand.

William Lever's company survived his death, and after later merging with a Dutch company, it was rechristened as Unilever in 1930.

Many new products and advertisements followed over the years, including a cheeky 1990s commercial touting all the body parts that can cleaned with Lever 2000 soap.

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The Lever House, designed by Skidmore Owings Merrill, in New York City. 

Philip Scalia/Alamy

And it's not just soap. Unilever sells lots of different foods as well, including Hellmann's mayonnaise, Lipton Tea, and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.

Besides all that, Unilever can also claim credit for a clean break in urban architecture.

Lever House, the corporate headquarters it opened in 1952, was the very first modern glass-walled office building to open on Park Avenue in New York City.

And though it's since been sold, Lever House remains, and was named a New York landmark in 1982.