Advert For E. A. Carter, Soap Seller
Medium: Print on paper
Soap was still expensive during the first half of the nineteenth century because of the hefty taxes imposed on its production. A law passed in 1636 enforced a 1 mile zone around Bristol and London, only within these zones could soap could be manufactured. This destroyed the British soap making industry and many producers moved to the continent. Gladstone, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer, eventually abolished the tax on soap in 1852. It was estimated that about £1,000,000 was lost in revenue. Soap was finally available cheaply and the trade flourished.