X-Ray Soap (ca. 1920s)
This is an empty can of X-Ray Soap produced by X-Ray Products Co. of Port Huron, Michigan. More specifically, the company's factory was at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and River Street. The date of manufacture is a little uncertain, but I would guess that it is from the 1920s, possibly later..
I did find advertisements containing references to X-ray Soap bars and cakes that dated from 1898 to 1912, but the manufacturer of these products was not identified. The earliest references to the X-Ray Products Company that I know of were in the February 27, 1922 and March 21, 1992 issues of the Port Huron Times Herald. The following quote is from a brief article about the company that appeared in the January 26, 1923 issue of the paper.
"An oil soap is put out in lots ranging from one-pound cans [like that featured above] to 450 pound barrels. This is marketed largely to automobile plants among which is the Ford Motor company."
The same article noted that the company had been producing soap at the Port Huron factory for nearly two years. As such, 1921 is the earliest possible date that might be assigned to our example.
The instructions on the can indicate that the soap is suitable for hands, laundry, carpets, dishes, floors, automobiles. In effect, just about everything.
"X-Ray Oil Soap is a clear pure vegetable paste made from linseed and vegetable oils, soponified with best potash obtainable. It contains no animal fats, greases, acids or alkali; is free from grit or chemicals. Transparent in color and agreeable in odor."
Size: 4 1/2" high, 5 1/4" diameter