August 22, 1865 — William Sheppard of New York was granted patent number 49,561 for his “Improved Liquid Soap” today. He made the product by dissolving one pound of solid soap in water, and then adding 100 pounds of ammonia until the liquid thickened to the consistency of molasses, the thick by‑product when producing sugar.
His invention became common in public areas, but could generally not be found in homes.
It wasn’t until the 1970’s when the Minnetonka corporation offered a modern version of Sheppard’s recipe. Called Crème Soap on Tap, it came in decorative ceramic containers through specialty boutique shops. By the 1980’s Minnetonka created a mass market version of the product in a unique pump bottle dispenser, which they named Softsoap.
Words of Wisdom for August 22, 2016
“Anyone’s life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit.”
— American actress Lillie Langtry