Royal Primrose Soap Works

From London's Ghost Acres

Revision as of 18:27, 28 May 2015 by EliseLehmann (Talk | contribs)




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Located in

West Ham


Soap, Candles, Edible Oils, Oil Cake, Glue, Glycerine

Used Raw Materials

Cotton Seeds, Tallow, Palm Oil, Ashes

|1880 |1922 |John Knight's Soap |-

|1880 |The date "{{{to_date}}}" was not understood.The date "{{{to_date}}}" was not understood. |Soap, Candle and Related Fat Based Industires |-


The Royal Primrose Soap Works was a Silvertown soap factory run by John Knight Ltd. The company was established in 1817 in Wapping by John Knight before his sons moved the company to Silvertown in 1880. John Knight was originally making candles when he came up with the idea to use the waste materials to make soap instead. Soap is made through a process called saponification: boiling oils or fats with an alkali (lye, or caustic soda), which produces the soap and a glycerine. John Knight was able to use animal waste such as the fat, bones, or hooves, and ashes to create soap. The company started producing their famous Royal Primrose Soap in 1844 and won an award at the 1851 Great Exhibition. Another famous product was the Knight’s Castile soap. Throughout the 20th century the company expanded into other productions involving animal waste, including glue, fertilizer, and oils.

John Knight’s soap factory relied on cottonseed, tallow and palm oil sourced from Egypt, West Africa, Australasia and numerous other locations.