The present work was published as an advertisement for Procter & Gamble's Ivory Soap in 1925. Blending with the other serialized and illustrated stories published in the magazines of the time, in this advertisement, the soap is anthropomorphized into a character who has adventures in the U.S. Army and Navy inspired by real life events written in by readers.
Swapping Yarns illustrates a story reported by Byron T. Mills of San Francisco, who was in the Navy during World War I: "On a certain dog-watch one night far out at sea we were gathered around the good old java swapping yarns. There were the bosun, and the bosun's mate, and a seaman bold, and me. The seaman bold, unfolding to stretch his legs, delivered himself of the following chant: 'A boy stood on the burning deck, The flames about did roar; He took a cake of Ivory Soap And washed himself--ashore.'"