As a volunteer interpreter at Old World Wisconsin (nineteenth century European immigration and agriculture museum), I dressed as an eighteen-fifties woman to render the fat of a freshly slaughtered pig for making candles and a lye soap of lard, ashes from the wood burning stove and water (which presumably would have had to be fetched from a pond approximately a quarter mile away) and heated to boiling over a fire. The soap would have been used primarily for household chores as personal hygiene left something to be desired especially during the long winter but most people were more concerned with surviving than smelling sweet. There is a Finnish family represented at the museum that had the tradition of the sauna. Another nineteenth century dishwashing tip: Rub the dirty dish directly with cooled ashes. There was a general store in the village but it did not sell soap; mainly fabric, metal items, farm implements and coffee beans. And hats.