Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Cleanliness and Class

From Pen and Pension:
Being clean was expensive. All water for washing or bathing would have to be fetched in buckets from a well or a stream. Then it had to be heated by burning suitable amounts of wood or coal. To heat enough even for a shallow bath would take a good deal of fuel — fuel which otherwise could have been used for cooking or heating a room.

Many of the wealthy would have used perfumes to keep themselves smelling good — another expense beyond the reach of the poorer classes — and had access to clean underclothes, shirts and bed-linen whenever they wanted. If you couldn’t afford the large quantity of linens needed for this, you might wash, but you wouldn’t stay clean for very long. This was a time when washing clothes was both labour-intensive and expensive, as I shall show in an upcoming post, so even the better off might undertake it once only every few weeks. (Read more.)


Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Φιλολoγικά/Philologica : Answering William Savage's Cleanliness and Class

Jon said...

Interesting piece on colonial cleanliness from the Colonial Williamsburg web site:

Summer said...

Quite interesting♥ Happy Wednesday ♥