Damascus: Makers of Soap

Date: c. 1840

Sir John Bowring (d. 1872) notes that when the olive crop produces an abundance of oil, a significant amount of clear soap would be produced in Damascus. The soaps produced in Damascus were used locally. Other materials needed in soap production include soda or barilla. The master soap-boilers were the proprietors of the manufacturing of soap; they supplied the barilla or soda, workmen, wood, and labourers. See also: Soap-Boilers.

Citation: Bowring, John. Report on the Commercial Statistics of Syria (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1840. Reprinted: New York: Arno Press, 1973), p. 19.