Beautifully engraved certificate from the Kopitzsch Soap Company
in 1892. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman with a bare brest leaning on the state coat of arms. This item is hand signed by the company’s president ( E. R. Wainu), secretary and treasurer (E. B. Williams) and is
over 108 years old. There are 30 unused coupons attached to the side of this certificate. Early soap companies are very scarce and highly desirable.
The following was written in 1881:
Charles F. Kopitzsch was born in Neustadt-on-the-Osla, Saxony
Weimar, Germany, April 5th, 1820. His parents were John Michael
and Johanna Kopitzsch. In 1842 he came to America for the first
time, and he has since twice visited his native country, having
crossed the ocean five times. April 5th, 1845, he was married,
and he has been the father of twelve children, six of whom are
living. In 1843 Mr. Kopitzsch came to Pottsville, and bought of
William F. Redlick a small soap and candle factory on Callowhill
street, near Railroad, and engaged somewhat extensively in the
manufacture of candles.
In 1848 this establishment was burned
and Mr. Kopitzsch bought of Jacob Kohler a livery stable on race
street, between Second and Third streets, which soon gave way to
a soap factory, where he greatly increased his business. In 1873
his factory was destroyed by fire, but he immediately bought all
of the surrounding lots and built the large three-story brick
building which he has since occupied. It has a frontage of 75
feet on Third street, and extends 150 feet back to an alley, and
contains all of the latest improvements in soap-making, including
three large soap kettles, two of which have a capacity of 35,000
pounds and the third a capacity of 20,000 pounds, together with
several smaller kettles for manufacturing toilet and cold-made
soaps; Hersey Brothers' steam-power and Dapp's soap presses, with
steam-power soap pump, crutching machines, etc., and a steam-
power printing press for printing labels and wrappers. The old
factory was repaired and fitted up as a store-room and warehouse,
and on other lots Mr. Kopitzsch erected three large brick dwell-
The capacity of the works is about 2,500,000 pounds annually, and they give employment to
fifteen hands. The factory is arranged with great convenience,
and is heated by steam, rendering all parts of it comfortable in
the coldest weather.
Among the several kinds of soap manufactured may be mentioned
the following brands" "Ocean," "Miners' Favorite," "New Wrinkle,"
"White Extra Family," "Monarch," "Economical," "Powdered Borax,"
"Castile," and "Variegated." These and other less prominent
brands embrace all kinds of laundry, family, scrubbing and toilet
soaps. Always an energetic and active business man, Mr. Ko-
pitzcsch has spared neither pains nor expense in producing the
best and most stylish of soaps. He has studied closely the wants
of the miners and iron workers in perfecting soaps which answer
their purposes and yet be so cheap as to be saleable at a price
that will not seem exorbitant to them, in which he has succeeded
better than any other manufacturer.
As a citizen he is prominent
and respected. In all local improvements he has aided with his
means and influence, and his business is creditable alike to
himself and the place where it is located.
SCHUYLKILL COUNTY STEAM SOAP AND CANDLE WORKS.
This industry, which was established in 1844, by Charles F.
Kopitzsch, has come to be an important and profitable manufactur-
ing business. The famous brand of "Ocean Soap" is made here; and
a score of others, each favorable known in the trade, together
with his various brands of wax, sperm and adamantine candles,
have made the name of this enterprising German known as widely as
that of any manufacturer in Schuylkill county. The present
factory buildings were erected in 1878.
This history came from the HISTORY OF SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PA
with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 36 Vesey Street, 1881 - Press of George Macnamara, 36 Vesey Street, N.Y.