History of Soap
No one knows when or where people first made soap. The ancient Romans may have used soap about 3,000 years ago. People in France used a rough kind of soap about 100 AD. By about 700, soap making had become a craft in Italy. Spain was
a leading soap maker in 800 and soap making in England began in 1200. In the late 1700’s, Nicolas Leblanc, a French scientist, found that lye could be made from ordinary table salt. After his discovery, soap began to be made and sold at prices that everyone could afford.
Many early settlers in North America made their own soap. The soap cleaned well but was harsh and not without a bad odor.
The soap industry in North America began in the early 1800’s. Since the early 1900’s, manufacturers have made vast improvements in the mildness, color, fragrance and cleaning abilities.
Bath and bathing have been considered an importance since the earliest times. Natural hot baths, bubbling baths, salt water, mud and clay bathes are mentioned in the writings dating back to ancient times. Early references to bathing can be found in the Bible. A built-in bathtub more than 3000 years old lies in the ruins of King Nestor’s Palace near Pilos Greece. The Romans maintained warm public baths. They also used natural minerals, among which were the famous hot baths located near Naples and Thermopolis.
In the 1600’s bathing resorts became fashionable. The Saturday night bath of the Victorian Age has given place to the daily evening or morning shower. Bathing on Saturday was a tradition.