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Barely a teenager, the young Darwin Martin could never have known that he would begin building his fortune with a move to the New York City area, selling soap on the street for the Larkin Soap Company.

In 1879, Martin relocated to Buffalo to work for the Larkin Company under the direct supervision of John Larkin. With Larkin’s mentoring, Martin’s career grew along with the company, from clerk to the modern day equivalent of COO. Martin’s leadership helped the company grow to gigantic stature, and at the turn of the century, he was one of Buffalo’s wealthiest citizens. The history of the Larkin Soap Company is as compelling as the history of Martin himself. And it’s because of both of them that we are all able to enjoy the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex, Graycliff, and several other Wright-designed buildings that grace our landscape.

Today, we honor Larkin Soap Co. and Martin with a small piece of history, re-interpreted and exclusive to the Martin House Museum Shop. Larkin Soap is available in two varieties: hand-crafted, goat-milk artisan soap in our own proprietary blend of lavender-sage-bergamot as well as unscented ($10). They make great stocking stuffers and gifts for friends, family, and Buffalo history buffs and expats!

Special thanks to Alpine Made for collaborating with us on these great products.