In 1806, William, a soap and candle maker, opened up a starch, soap and candle factory on Dutch Street in New York City. William in 1833 suffered a severe heart attack stopping his business from selling. But after a couple of years of recovery he continued with his business. In the 1840s, the firm began selling individual cakes of soap in uniform weights.
William died inn 1857 and the company was reorganized under the management of his son Samuel. At the time, Samuel did not want to continue the business but thought it would be the right thing to do.