Nicolas Lebalanc

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Nicolas Leblanc was born in Ivoy-le-Pré, France back in 1742.  His father died in 1751, he was sent to Bourges to live with Dr. Bien, a close family friend.  Dr. Bien died in 1759.  Shortly after his death Nicolas enrolled in the College of Surgeons in Paris to study medicine.  He graduated with a master’s degree in surgery. 

After graduation he opened a medical practice.  In 1780, he accepted a position as the private physician to the household of Louis Philip II, Duke of Orleans.  In 1775, the French Academy of Sciences offered a prize for a substance that could be produced from salt.  By 1791, he had succeeded, the prize was awarded to Nicolas.  In a plant he was able to produce 320 tons of the product.

Now, I’m sure you want to know what he discovered, well he discovered how to manufacture soda ash for common salt.  That is his claim to fame.

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Comments (17)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - I might be able to come up with something clever to say about this discovery but it seems much too early to do that right now.  Good for him.  

May 06, 2021 03:25 AM
Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

Well that's interesting.  I wonder how he came up with the process and if it's still in use?

May 06, 2021 03:27 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James - thanks for that.  Now we know the rest of the story.

May 06, 2021 03:44 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, James... given that salt was an important preservative, this was an important discovery.

May 06, 2021 04:42 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

I wonder if he thought there would be as many cleaning products from his process!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

May 06, 2021 04:43 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:


Just wonderful.  Reminds me of our time living in France in the early 60's.  Thanks for posting and make it a great Thursday.  Bill Salvatore. 

May 06, 2021 05:00 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

I had to look up soda ash to see what it's used for James Dray . I see it's been used as far back as ancient Egypt. I'm guessing it was pretty rare until Nic figured out how to make it from salt.

May 06, 2021 05:05 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That is pretty interesting and I am not familiar with soda ash, not sure if I have used it before or even what it would be used for, haha.

May 06, 2021 06:02 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Good morning James,

I have to look up soda ash, as this is definitely new to me.  Happy Thursday.  A

May 06, 2021 06:54 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James! I must admit, I have no idea what soda ash is or what it is used for.

May 06, 2021 06:59 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

May 06, 2021 08:09 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James

Well, this was all news to me, but an interesting read nonetheless.


May 06, 2021 09:12 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello James and thanks for this information to share with us here in the rain.  Make it a great day!


May 06, 2021 09:13 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Hmmmm....not one of your  A very interesting man.  Good post as always.  :)

May 06, 2021 12:13 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi James- I am always intrigued by those who can invent something.  

May 06, 2021 12:37 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Well James thanks to MR Google I spent five minutes reading about Soda Ash before I commented, and wow, the many applications are just incredible, glad you inspired me to look this one up.... and as a kid my father used to make soda now I know how he did it, Endre

May 07, 2021 10:17 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Soda ash is a component used to make other useful products. I had to do a search to find that out.

Oct 10, 2021 08:46 AM