SOAP, SOAP and MORE SOAP… Hmmm, WHERE DID IT ALL COME FROM
Hello again everyone!
Did you ever wonder exactly where ‘Soap’ came from? It is not exactly known, however historians have somewhat nailed it down to prehistoric times.
Personal hygiene has also been traced back to prehistoric times. Our prehistoric brothers and sisters recognized right from the get go how water was needed for sustaining life. Because of this, many communities were established around and/or near water. Our prehistoric human membership also knew something about waters’ cleansing properties as well. As early as 2800 B.C., evidence of soap making (in the form of a soap like material) was discovered in clay cylinders during an excavation of ancient Babylon. Inscriptions on these clay cylinders indicate that fats were boiled with ashes. This on its own, lended itself to a method of soap making but no reference to the purpose of ‘soap’ was found.
Medical evidence in the form of a document was discovered, dating back to somewhere around 1500 B.C., describing a combination of veggie oil, alkaline salts and animal fats to form a soap like substance to treat forms of skin disease as well as for washing.
Now, who doesn’t like a good legend, especially with some attachable belief! According to an ancient Roman legend, soap got its name from Mount Sapo where animals were offered to the ‘Gods’ as sacrifices. A mixture of rainwater, wood ash and melted animal fat found its way down the side of Mount Sapo into the clay soil along the Timber River and presto!… laundry was discover to bee cleaner with significant less effort.
Fast forward to the “Horse and Buggy” days, soap making 101 took on a whole new methodical creation to somewhat allow the success of laundering and maintaining personal hygiene.
Sodium hydroxide better know as ‘caustic soda or lye’ was made by gathering drips of rainwater through a perforated barrel filled with a hardwood ash. This colourless concoction was brought to a boil until it was concentrated enough to float eggs still in the shell. You gotta like the art of calibration!
Animal fat was collected from whatever unlucky animal happened to be to close to the grill and Voila! Grammies soap was born, albeit a bit rough on the skin.
So there you go, a little history on soap. It has been around a long, long time, eh! Thankfully, modern day soap making methods have greatly improved, thus welcoming a well crafted bar of soap on your bath caddy.
Next week, we’ll share our methods by which Soap and Candle from the Hive hopes to earn a corner of your caddy!
Bee kind to each other 🙂