New York City, U.S.
|Headquarters||Chaska, Minnesota, U.S.|
William Sheppard of New York was granted patent number 49,561 for his "Improved Liquid Soap" on August 22, 1865, for his discovery that a small amount of conventional soap could be mixed with large amounts of spirits of ammonia (or hartshorn, as it was known at the time) to create a soap with a consistency of molasses. His invention became common in public areas, but was not generally available for use in homes.
In 1980, entrepreneur Robert R. Taylor (died August 29, 2013) began selling pump soap under the brand name of Softsoap, through his company, The Minnetonka Corporation, located in Chaska, Minnesota. Within six months, he had sold $25 million worth of Softsoap before selling the brand to Colgate-Palmolive in 1987.
- He had been able to give his product a leg up by buying all the bottles he could for the first run so no one else could release a similar product at the same time. John Rogers for Associated Press, "Robert R. Taylor, Creator of SoftSoap, Dead at 77", bigstory.ap.org, September 12, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2013.