Alfred E. Cleveland founded the Flash Chemical Company in 1906 after discovering a new formula for hand soap. Although originally located in Boston, the company moved production to Cambridge in 1915 in order to accommodate growth in demand for its product. Just two years after this plant was completed, the company moved again to a larger plant on Second Street in Cambridge. In addition to its production of soaps, the company also became well known for manufacturing polishes for silver and other metals (Stone, 1930).