Colgate, William (kōlˈgāt) [key], 1783–1857, American manufacturer and philanthropist, b. England. Arriving (1795) as a youth in the United States, Colgate learned candlemaking in Baltimore and New York. He established (1806) a tallow factory in New York, later engaging in soapmaking. In 1847 he moved his factory to Jersey City and by 1850 began producing fancy soaps and toilet preparations. He helped organize several Bible societies, including the American Bible Society (1816), and contributed amply to the institution later called Colgate Univ.