by Valentina Bobryashova
found in Ryazan, in 1990



SOAP

dimensions: 6x10x9 cm
weight: 0.08 kg
— Well, about ten years ago, I suppose, we had, what d'ya call them, shortages. All manufactured items started to disappear, and factories couldn't provide people with even the most basic things. At that time I was working in a slaughter house on a factory farm as a production engineer, and I had to wash my hands quite often, because I was handling food a lot. But they didn't supply us with proper soap there. But you couldn't just leave the technological process unattended. So I had to use my head, and I remembered the time when I used to work in the Orsk meat factory. We used to make soap ourselves there for industrial purposes. And so I thought I could give it a go myself (...) I got the things I needed together, sorted out the correct doses, and the soap turned out to be of an ok quality. It washes off dirt and grime pretty well. I made that soap in pretty primitive conditions, on an electric cooker, in an enamel container. I made quite a lot; there are twenty people in the slaughter house, it was enough for a week. So, I sorted us out, as if there hadn't been a lack of soap in our slaughter house. The factory managers found out about it, and started ordering soap, made in the same conditions, for the whole factory. I tried to sort soap out for the needs of the poultry women; I started to cut it into pieces (...) The ingredients needed to make that soap are very simple. You use some animal fat, any kind will do, pig, beef fat, stuff that we used to use at the factory as bird food – we didn't need to go looking for it. And caustic, that we used to use for disinfecting the shops. The exact proportions I can't remember. We boiled that soap on the cooker, at the factory, in our workshop.

Valentina Bobryashova
from Ryazan
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Found in Ryazan
explore Ryazan, Russia

Found in Ryazan
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