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Pearlash (potassium carbonate)
A chemical discovered in the U.S.A in the 1790"s, it was a forerunner of baking powder and cream of tartar in that it produced carbon dioxide in baking dough to achieve a good rise.
Amelia Simmons" "American Cookery" contained several recipes calling for pearlash in her book published in 1796.
Unfortunately its production involved the burning of wood, and helped destroy some of America"s largest forests.