c. 19th century
4.75 in WIDE x 1.5 in DEEP
(12.06 cm WIDE x 3.81 cm DEEP)
Gift of Miss Beatrice Kempf

California Kitchen Exhibit

Soap tray. Description: Ironstone soap tray, stamped "H. Burgess, Burslem."" white History: Grandparents--John and Catherine Kempf--were pioneers in Chico, California from 1860 til 1915. They came to Chico from Oroville at the invitation of General John Bidwell. Grandparents--John---came over Isthmus. Articles are her mother's except perhaps ironstone pieces. The older things she wishes to keep, but has in family Bidwell's letter, etc. Ironstone--Grandparents??? Object: Ironstone soapdish with Fels Naptha soap. The soap is modern but looks like 19th century soap. From the History Information Station: Soap in the 19th century was made in large brown blocks from which smaller blocks could be cut off. There were no liquid or powdered soaps as there are today; the same brown block was used to clean house and wash hands, dishes, and laundry. To make suds, soap shavings were dissolved in hot water. In many rural parts of the United States people made their own soap, using animal fat and lye from ashes, until commercially manufactured soap became available in the 1860's. But in California soap could be purchased in the 1850's, usually for astronomical prices, from one of the many dry goods stores which catered to miners and settlers.

Used: H. Burgess ~ Burslem

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