William Colgate began a soap and candle making business in New York in 1806.
In 1866, Colgate began making perfumed soap and perfumes.
One of Colgate's first soaps, Octagon, was a harsh soap mainly sold for laundry, but often also used as a personal soap.
Cashmere Bouquet was introduced in 1872.
Colgate's first dental cream was sold in jars in 1873, and by 1896, Colgate toothpaste was sold in tubes, similar to those found today.
By 1906, Colgate was manufacturing laundry soaps, 160 different kinds of personal soap, and more than 600 types of perfume.
Colgate headquarters moved to Jersey City in 1910.
Another company, the B. J. Johnson Soap Company, owned by Caleb Johnson, was formed in Milwaukee in 1864.
Caleb Johnson's company made soap from palm and olive oil in 1898, and the resulting Palmolive soap became so popular that the company was renamed Palmolive, in 1916.
In 1926 Palmolive eventually merged with another soap company, the Peet Brothers (William, Robert and James) Company, from Kansas City, founded in 1872 and the new company was called Palmolive Peet.
Then in 1928, Palmolive Peet merged with Colgate to form Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, which became Colgate Palmolive in 1953, dropping the word Peet from the name.
Ajax cleanser and Fab detergent was introduced in the 1940's, and both have become leading brand names for the company.
Headquarters were moved to Park Avenue, New York City, in 1956. In 1966, Palmolive dishwashing liquid was introduced.
Colgate bought a liquid soap business in 1987, and formed Softsoap Enterprises, and in 1992 acquired the Mennen Company.
And in 1993, after purchasing S. C. Johnson liquid soap brands, Colgate remains the global leader in liquid soap substitutes.
Redgum Soaps is in no way connected with any of the companies we have featured on these pages. We have included the information for the purposes of soapmaking history only, in an attempt to preserve some of the information that is rapidly being lost.