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.

  • Wool and Soap

    Wool and Soap

    I found a reference in The Art of Soap-Making by Alexander Watt (1918) which describes “fulling soaps.” Being unsure of what, exactly, “fulling” really was, I wasn’t sure whether the soap he described would be suitable for washing woolens as well. Turns out not, but I did make some interesting discoveries along the way. And […]

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  • Manhattan Garbage & Soap

    Manhattan Garbage & Soap

    Imagine New York City and the island of Manhattan in the 1840’s. The city was rapidly expanding with an influx of immigrants from all over the world. Industry was expanding with the rise of the Industrial Revolution. The northern portion of the island was still providing the city with dairy products and meat. Sewage disposal […]

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  • Kitchen Grease Into Hand Soap

    Kitchen Grease Into Hand Soap

    It seems that “what goes around, comes around,” even with soap. What was once a distasteful chore of country housewives or the task of garbage entrepreneurs has now become the new eco-friendly activity of chefs. According to a recent article at Food and Wine there’s a new line of soaps made from the byproducts of […]

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  • The Many Careers of Soapmakers

    The Many Careers of Soapmakers

    Of all the soapmakers I know, not one started out young in life saying,”When I grow up, I’m going to be a soapmaker.” While some have said they “always had an interest,” most were in other careers when they discovered (and got hooked on) soapmaking. Pre-soapmaking careers include accountant, journalist, engineer, chemist, housewife, teacher, internet […]

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  • What We Watch – Television and Soap

    What We Watch – Television and Soap

    It’s interesting how the American public is so fascinated with and influenced by the trials and tribulations of fictitious families. The success of all soap operas (daytime and prime time), as well as shows like LOST, is all about getting people vested in a form of imaginary voyeurism. And it started with … soap! Earlier […]

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  • Soap Bubble Close-Up

    Soap Bubble Close-Up

    Ever wondered what a soap bubble looks like close up … VERY close up … like 50x magnification? Absolutely, amazingly beautiful! This image is “Soap Bubble in a Petri Dish,” taken at 50x magnification. Photographer: Viktor Sykora Mr. Sykora won Image of Distinction in the 2008 annual Nikon Small World photomicrography competition. And rightly so! […]

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  • Census Records of Soapmakers

    Census Records of Soapmakers

    You can find information about soapmaking in the oddest places and by the strangest methods. Recently, I found out about the numbers of soapmakers around the turn of the (last) century while celebrating my birthday! Birthdays in our family are a day when you can do (or not do) whatever you want. In the past […]

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  • Sunlight Soap – Botswana

    Sunlight Soap – Botswana

    Last night I watched the HBO series “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” If you missed the pilot, it is soon to be released on DVD. It’s very cute, retains the feeling of the original books and actually looks like it was filmed in Botswana. And how does this relate to soap?

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  • Raise The Bar, Use Handcrafted Soap


    That’s what the license plate holder on my truck says now.  I just put the new Handcrafted Soap Guild license plate holder on my truck.  Required a little cleaning up of things to get the mud off, but I think it looks pretty nice! It’ll be cool to drive around and have it be known […]

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  • Making Soap (with pictures!)

    Making Soap (with pictures!)

    When I make soap, I break it out into in several stages: Preparation, Melting, Mixing & Molding, Unmolding & Cutting, Trimming, and Packaging. Generally there is a time gap between the different stages—sometimes hours, sometimes days, and even sometimes months. This is just how I do it.

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  • The Art & Science of Making Soap

    The Art & Science of Making Soap

    Making soap is both a science and an art. For me, it’s the combination of the two that makes the whole thing so fascinating. That, and the joy of having my own custom-made, custom-scented, just-perfect-for-me soap. Add to that the fact that I can share it with other people and make some income while doing […]

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  • History of the Bath

    History of the Bath

    After a lot of very interesting research, I’ve written an article on The History of the Bath. It was published as the cover article in the Handcrafted Soapmaker, which is the journal of the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild. You can read the entire article here.

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