The art of manufacturing soap has been, in a measure, known and followed for many ages, proving a source of industry and advantage to various nations and individuals.
Pliny, for instance, the Roman historian, informs us that the art of manufacturing soap is the invention of the Gauls, and that the best article made by them was a combination of goats’ tallow and the ashes of the beech-tree.
The Romans eventually acquired this knowledge from the Gauls, by whom this branch of industry was, with their conquests, soon spread over Europe.
Whoever may have been the originators of soap-making, the Romans were undoubtedly familiar with it.
Galen, at least, mentions it in his works, and confirmatory of this statement, we may add that a soapmaker’e shop, with its utensils and products, was discovered among the ruins and ashes of Pompeii.