U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 12-17-2012, 11:07 PM
 
3,280 posts, read 4,600,818 times
Reputation: 3069

Advertisements

Before the invention of commercial baby food, it was standard practice for mothers to just chew up bits of food, then remove it and put it in their baby's mouth.

The very remote island of St. Kilda north of Scotland, in the 19th century had the highest newborn mortality rate (70%) of anywhere in the world, so the island had to be abandoned. It was thought that infants contracted tetanus from the seagulls' fat with which midwives greased their hands and then rubbed the babies' navels/ umbilical cords. When nurses from the mainland arrived and tried to introduce antiseptic practices, they were rejected and ostracized by the natives.

Upton Sinclair's famous 1906 novel "The Jungle" describes some sickening problems with contamination in the Chicago slaughterhouse industry - before the enactment of the Federal food and drug law.

Last edited by slowlane3; 12-17-2012 at 11:31 PM..
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-17-2012, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
In the 1950s, a majority of the people in the Midwest bathed only once a week, but in the deep south, every day. Climate probably the deciding factor, but maybe also the fact that the Midwest had a lot of first and second generation immigrants from Europe, where bathing was also not a fashionable exercise.. I knew a lot of rural people in both the Midwest and the Deep South then who did not have running water, only a hand-pump, which expanded bathing into a time-consuming ordeal.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2012, 04:11 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,583 posts, read 11,763,332 times
Reputation: 15398
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane3 View Post
It is well known that people also wiped their behind, with corn cobs. Most of the US population were farmers.
Ouch! That must have hurt! Not an attractive practice for people with hemorrhoids!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2012, 04:45 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
In the 1950s, a majority of the people in the Midwest bathed only once a week, but in the deep south, every day. Climate probably the deciding factor, but maybe also the fact that the Midwest had a lot of first and second generation immigrants from Europe, where bathing was also not a fashionable exercise.. I knew a lot of rural people in both the Midwest and the Deep South then who did not have running water, only a hand-pump, which expanded bathing into a time-consuming ordeal.
I'm also curious to know what percentage of people had hot water back in the 1950s.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2012, 04:46 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane3 View Post
Before the invention of commercial baby food, it was standard practice for mothers to just chew up bits of food, then remove it and put it in their baby's mouth.

The very remote island of St. Kilda north of Scotland, in the 19th century had the highest newborn mortality rate (70%) of anywhere in the world, so the island had to be abandoned. It was thought that infants contracted tetanus from the seagulls' fat with which midwives greased their hands and then rubbed the babies' navels/ umbilical cords. When nurses from the mainland arrived and tried to introduce antiseptic practices, they were rejected and ostracized by the natives.

Upton Sinclair's famous 1906 novel "The Jungle" describes some sickening problems with contamination in the Chicago slaughterhouse industry - before the enactment of the Federal food and drug law.
Really, like birds? lol. I've seen some videos of rural Ireland in the 1930s and their lives look almost Medieval! No electricity, using horses to plow.etc.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2012, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,352,813 times
Reputation: 4617
It makes me think if I were ever able to go back in time to these days that finding a girl to date would be a million times harder than what it is today.

Though your post didn't cover it I wonder if girls in those days trimmed and shaved hair like they do today? Did they have unibrows? Hairy legs? Hairy armpits? Hairy...bushes?

Lastly, I wonder what gains we have made by becoming such a clean people. I'm guessing disease and sickness are more rare nowadays than what they were under those hygiene habits.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2012, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,352,813 times
Reputation: 4617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I think we've gone the other extreme...it's not really necessary to bathe/shower daily, we're afraid of ANY body odour that we have to mask it.

^ What does toilet paper have to do with ID? We don't NEED it, it's just we're averse to the idea of being dirty down there. Animals just let the fecal residue remain, I guess it attracts insects and stuff though lol.
I've considered many times getting baby wipes to wipe my butt with, get rid of the poo and clean it up as well. Wiping it with toilet paper will smear or scrape most of it off, but an amount of fecal matter retains to the surface. It's like drying your face with a napkin after you spilled chocolate ice cream on yourself, it's just dried up and caked to your face, not streaking down your skin anymore.

There needs to be an advance in wiping after using the toilet!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2012, 05:17 PM
 
Location: On the periphery
200 posts, read 428,636 times
Reputation: 274
In his book, Pennsylvania: The Colonial Years 1681- -1776, Joseph J. Kelley jr. states that the Native Americans were often put off by the indifference to personal hygeine among the new immigrants. He notes the following interesting exception: "One of the oddities of the period was the parallel practice of 'steam bathing' by the Swedes and Delaware; techniques developed in different parts of the world were almost identical in usage in early Pennsylvania. The strangest distinction was that the Indians were more circumspect in segregating the sexes; the Swedes took mixed nudity in stride."

Kelley goes on to say that "English families arriving in 1681 were understandably scared at the sight of these light-footed warriors moving casually in their midst. Scrupulously clean, the Delaware silently marveled at the carelesness in dress and habits of some whites, particularly in the unsheltered stage, when they baked 'their bread in dirty ashes, and being alike careless of cleaniness when they broil their meat.'"
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2012, 05:30 PM
 
11,888 posts, read 14,355,740 times
Reputation: 7526
It is recorded that during revolutionary times horse manure, and sometimes even dead horses, were left behind on the streets. Go to historic
Philadelphia today and you can see foot scrapers outside buildings. Not only the disease and stench, but the noise with horseshoes and steel rims on cobblestone streets.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-18-2012, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
36,943 posts, read 17,425,944 times
Reputation: 16781
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
I've considered many times getting baby wipes to wipe my butt with, get rid of the poo and clean it up as well. Wiping it with toilet paper will smear or scrape most of it off, but an amount of fecal matter retains to the surface. It's like drying your face with a napkin after you spilled chocolate ice cream on yourself, it's just dried up and caked to your face, not streaking down your skin anymore.

There needs to be an advance in wiping after using the toilet!
Get a big mother supply of beach towels and a ten gallon drum of isopropyl alcohol...you're all set.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top