Category: History & Trivia

The history of soap and cosmetic making is fascinating. Along with the history, there is so much interesting trivia about all things connected to soap and cosmetic making.

  • Soap Sally – Appalachian Villain

    Soap Sally – Appalachian Villain

    Tales of Soap Sally, a wicked washerwoman, child murderer and entrepreneur from Appalachia.

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  • Why Does the FDA Exist?

    Why Does the FDA Exist?

    The FDA recently uploaded a new video, “Why Does the FDA Exist?” to their YouTube channel. It’s gives some interesting insight into how the FDA came into being and why.

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  • George Washington Carver’s Peanut Lotion

    George Washington Carver’s Peanut Lotion

    George Washington Carver’s work with peanuts is legendary. The uses included various cosmetics; here’s his recipe for a peanut oil lotion.

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  • Mary’s Monkey

    Mary’s Monkey

    As one of my personal projects, I am scanning and correctly, archivally storing the family collection of papers and documents.  Yesterday I scanned a collection of 400 post cards dating from 1908 to 1920. One little series mentioned soap, so I read it carefully … and I just have to share: Mary has a little MonkeyJust […]

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  • Liquid Soapmaking by Jackie Thompson

    Liquid Soapmaking by Jackie Thompson

    Jackie Thompson’s long awaited book, Liquid Soapmaking, is finally here—and more than worth the wait! For those who make handcrafted soap bars, transitioning to making liquid soap can be daunting. While the chemistry is essentially the same, when it comes to the finished product, opaque bar soap is much more forgiving than liquid soap that […]

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  • Making Soap, 1955 Style

    Making Soap, 1955 Style

    I recently found a marvelous brochure, Making Soap at Home from February, 1955. Prepared by Irene Crouch, Extension Agent Home Management, and published by the Extension Service (North Dakota), this little document outlines how to make soap at home. “A thrifty housewife can save many dollars a year by making soap of good quality.”

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  • Soapmaker’s Handy Reference Guide

    Soapmaker’s Handy Reference Guide

    (Updated 2024: This guide is out of print and not currently available.) May 2013: Not one to rest on my laurels, I’ve produced another book for soapmakers (also for cosmetic makers, even though that’s not in the name). The Soapmaker’s Handy Reference Guide was released at the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild’s 2013 Annual Conference […]

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  • Making a Difference with Soap

    Making a Difference with Soap

    Soap: At one end of the spectrum it’s a luxury item, at the other end soap saves lives. Did you know that more than 5 million lives are lost each year (the majority of whom are children) to diseases such as acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease caused by improper hygiene and lack of soap? […]

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  • Amazing and Unique Soaps

    Amazing and Unique Soaps

    We’ve all seen bar soap (which can be stunningly beautiful with swirls, embeds, and colors), and liquid soap, and even soap that looks like food. But how about soap that looks completely like something else? Check out these amazing soaps!

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  • Banning Anti-Bacterial Soap?

    Banning Anti-Bacterial Soap?

    Students at the University of Texas voted last week to ban anti-bacterial soap and other products containing triclosan from the university entirely. The bill was authored by five UT students and unanimously approved by the students. Now, of course, it will be up to the university administration (and their purchasing department) to decide if they […]

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  • Giant Soap Bubbles

    Giant Soap Bubbles

    Did you know there are huge soap bubble artists?  They make AMAZING bubbles – some are 15 feet (yes, FEET) high!

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  • “Soap Bubble” at Milky Way Center

    “Soap Bubble” at Milky Way Center

    Scientists have discovered gigantic bubble-like structures 25,000 light-years tall ballooning above and below the Milky Way. Within each curved “bubble”, extremely energetic electrons of unknown origin interact with lower-energy light to generate the gamma rays that define these bubbles.

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