Profile America: Soaps and Aerosol Sprays

Monday, August 22 — Two ordinary items used in many American households were created by New York City residents on this date in August. In 1865, the first liquid soap was patented by William Sheppard. His formula flowed from mixing a pound of regular soap with 100 pounds of ammonia solution, then dissolving it in water to the consistency of molasses. And in 1939, Julian Seth Kahn received a patent for an “apparatus for mixing a liquid with a gas” — a spray can for whipped cream. Of course, aerosols didn’t stop with whipped cream. Today in the U.S., soap and detergent manufacturing is a $21.5 billion a year business. The 173 metal can manufacturing establishments make over $15 billion in annual sales. 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau