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Monmouth College professor John Nesbit Swan took this photograph of the original college building in the late 1890s, after it had been converted to a soap factory. A portion of the office building added in 1892 can be seen at right. Although most of the soap was manufactured in bars, shaved soap was also sold in barrels, which were stored alongside the building.

Bubbling business born in college ‘Barracks’

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An 1896 advertising cut for Maple City Soap.

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Editor and historian for Monmouth College. Avid researcher of western Illinois history for 40 years. FB and Twitter. jrankin@monmouthcollege.edu

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