Dobbins Soap Manufacturing Company
Iowa Soap Company - Concord Chemical
Southwest Corner of 17th & Federal Street

The Dobbins Soap Manufacturing Company, founded in 1863, had a factory in Philadelphia at Germantown Ave, Susquehanna Ave, and the southwest corner of Marshall Street which they had remodeled in 864 and 1865. Owned by the Cragin family, by 1887 the firm had built a factory on the southwest corner of 17th Street and Federal Street, where they operated until 1934. George Cragin was the superintendent from 1887 through 1906, Louis Bresset had the position in 1914, and Alex Macfeat had it in 1924.

The plant was acquired by the Iowa Soap Company, which operated the facility into the late 1940s. At some point after 1959 the Concord Chemical Company moved its operations from 205 South 2nd Street to this building, which is still into the late-2000s. The building was then abandoned, and an EPA team did a clean-up in 2010.

On June 19, 2011 the old soap factory, known roughly 50 years as the Concord Chemical factory, was destroyed by fire.

From March of 1936, a photo of the then recently remodeled plant of the Iowa Soap Co, at Seventeenth and Federal Streets. The firm, whose main factory was at Burlington Iowa, had recently took over the old Dobbins Soap Works.


Camden Courier-Post - March 17, 1936
Firm Here Operating on 24-Hour 
Schedule to Keep Pace With Orders

The Soap Works
1600 Block of Carman Street

as seen from the Southeast corner of
South 17th & Carman Streets

The brick factory on right belonged to the Iowa Soap Company in the 1930s and 1940s. 

Left: A bar of Protex Toilet Soap, in original wrap & box. Protex Soap was made by Iowa Soap Company, who had factories in Burlington, Iowa & Camden, NJ. 

The box reads: "The Ideal Family Toilet Soap" and "Clean hands and a clean body are essential to good health. A daily bath with Protex will keep the body sweet, removing body odors and affording protection against the odor of perspiration from all sources. True cleanliness promotes and protects the Health!"

Carman & South 17th

Looking Northwest on
South 17th towards Federal Street

The building was later acquired by Concord Chemical Corp. who moved their operations there from 205 South 2nd Street at some point after 1959.