M. Werk Company factory   Save
Ohio Guide Photographs
Description: Reverse reads: "M. Werk Co., Oscar Phelps - mailing merch. Norwood, Ohio." This photograph shows a man packing boxes of Werk's Tag soap into boxes, which are then placed onto a gravity roller conveyor belt. M.Werk Company was founded as Werk Soap and Candle Company in 1832 by Michel (Michael) Werk, (1807 - ) of Alsace, France and for a time was the oldest soap and candle business in the city of Cincinnati. In 1833, a candle factory on Vine Street was purchased from Mr. Hinkle. Werk married Pauline La Feuille in 1843. Their eldest son Casimir went on to become president of the company for 40 years. A fire destroyed the factory in 1874, but was rebuilt in the same location in 1875. Michael Schwartz was president of the company from 1894 to 1904, and his son Albert Schwartz succeeded him. By 1912 Werk soap sold more in Cincinnati that any other brand, becoming a household name. The company decided to move into a larger, fireproof factory with more modern facilities on about 20 acres of land on Murrary Road in St. Bernard. Werk made many different kinds of soap and candles, beginning with German Soap, which was eventually renamed to avoid confusion with other brands. The most well-known is Tag soap, on which tags were placed that could be redeemed towards various household items. They also made Meerschaum soap, “Clean Work” soap powder, Falcon soap and white castile soap, as well as manufacturing stearic acid, Star and X-Ray candles and chemically pure glycerine for manufacturing use. M. Werk Co. was eventually purchased by Proctor & Gamble (P&G View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: SA1039AV_B08F02_010_001
Subjects: Industries--Ohio--Cincinnati; Soap; Soap factories; Procter & Gamble Company
Places: Saint Bernard (Ohio); Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)