When the Bydgoszcz Canal was completed in 1775 by the ruling Kingdom of Prussia, the Vistula River system, one of the biggest in eastern Europe, was now connected to the Oder-Neisse system for the first time ever. This meant that goods travelling from as far east as Moscow in Russia could then be transported as far west as Amsterdam and Marseille - all by river and all via the small town of Bydgoszcz. From here on in, the small village of less than 1000 inhabitants would grow to 31,308 just a century later. As a major trading hub in Europe, Bydgoszcz would have been one of the first Polish centres to wash its hands with this new technological marvel. By the mid-19th-century, the city was not only importing it, but producing its very own. There were at least 5 major factories producing soap en-masse for Poland and Europe more generally.