WASH YOUR HANDS!

 

Pat here:

Gerard_ter_Borch_(II)_-_Woman_Washing_Hands_-_WGA22141Talk about timing— I was researching the use of antiseptic soap for my doctor hero in my current WIP to make sure I could have him insist on washing hands and what he would have used. And now here we are in the midst of a plague that requires we wash our hands all the time, although the antibiotics my Victorian doc needed aren’t the same as the fatty soaps we need to melt a virus.

But as happens, I fell down the research rabbit hole looking up soap. We have solid evidence that a form of detergent made from animal fats and wood ash was used in Babylonia around 2800 BC. From all accounts, it was used in cleaning wools and textiles, and there is some evidence that it was used medicinally, although no one is telling me if they tried drinking the stuff. Uck ptui.

Apparently Phoenicians preferred animal urine in their soap. Keep in mind that these first smelly soap mixtures weren’t necessarily used for personal hygiene (I almost breathe easier at that) but for cleaning cooking utensils (well. . .) and other goods. This was basic laundry detergent, not perfumed luxury. Coulson _Constance_J._D._(1910)_Korea_-_Korean_washer_women

A lovely legend claims that soap was named after Mt Sapo, where rain washed the ash and fat from animal sacrifices down the Tiber River. Women washing clothes in the river after a heavy rain noticed their clothes came out much cleaner. Unfortunately, Mt Sapo does not exist, but there could be a germ of truth in the legend. Someone had to learn the unlikely combination somehow, and this makes as much sense as any.

We all know  the Romans believed in bathing, hence all those lovely bath houses still standing today. But as the Romans fell into a decline, so did cleanliness. Without aqueducts and plumbing or the wealth to build them, bathing became a thing of the past. And thus the plagues of the Dark Ages followed, which goes to show, Wash Your Hands! is always a timely admonition.

Eventually, after we crawled out of the darkness and people became civilized enough to bathe more often, softer bathing soaps emerged. They were still basically lye—rain water run through hardwood ash—but with fancier fats (no urine!) and oils. France got into some pricey olive oil concoctions, complete with perfume, of course. The royal court officially recognized Marseille soap in 1688. The Spanish had Castile soap, again, made from olive oil. These were not mass manufactured, but created by highly-paid soap makers, so your basic yeoman wasn’t bathing with pretty-smelling soap. He was still using lye and goat tallow or some combination thereof, if anything at all.

Queen_Mary's_Bath_HouseEngland had a soap-makers union by1633. Queen Elizabeth even bragged that she took a bath every four weeks whether she needed it or not! (I can't find an image of QE's bath but this one is Queen Mary's!) Wealthy ladies of the Tudor period (1485-1603) used scented toilet soap for their daily bathing. A household instruction manual written during this period included recipes for soap which suggests that people of all levels of society were interested in personal hygiene, at least every few months or so.

And then in 1791 a Frenchman named LeBlanc found a chemical process that created soda ash which reduced the cost of all those pricey animal fats. In another 20 years, they learned about glycerin, and soap became cheaper yet. But luxury soap was still heavily taxed until the last half of the 19th century, right about the time that laundry soap and bathing soap became separate commodities. None of this qualifies as antiseptic in any way, but if plague viruses melted in soap as Covid-19 does, they were all set.

Finally, though, I found the carbolic soap that my hero needed. It contains Bar_of_carbolic_soapBy SamBlobdisinfectant phenol (carbolic acid), a substance once bought at oil shops along with paraffin and soda ash. Phenol was first discovered in 1834, and its antiseptic qualities were revealed early on.  Joseph Lister first started experimenting with antiseptics in 1865, eventually using them in surgeries and putting them into regular practice a few years later. So my guy in 1871 has his very own cake of carbolic soap wrapped in newspaper and tucked inside his medical bag—because the cakes weren’t commercially available, and he had to make them. (His mother is a Malcolm herbalist and healer, so he’s accustomed to experimenting. I like my magic with a scientific basis!)

482px-You_need_only_one_soap _Ivory_soap_-_Strobridge_&_Co._Lith._-_Restoration_by_Adam_CuerdenNot until 1895 when Lever Bros first sold Lifebuoy did antiseptic soap become commercially available. (I couldn't find an image of Lifebuoy but who remembers Ivory soap?)

So, of course, my mind then wandered to whether bar or liquid soap is most effective against a virus. Everyone wants to give us the science of soap, but I had to dig a little deeper to learn that any soap at all works, although one might worry about the plastic container on the liquid soap!

So how are you fighting the virus? Are you staying safe inside or do you have to go out? And if you have to go out, how are you taking care of yourself?

 

150 thoughts on “WASH YOUR HANDS!”

  1. This takes me back to a school open day when I was in charge of the soap making demo in the chemistry lab. We had an impressive array of flasks and chemicals but alas the final soap product was a gooey mess. The chem master scratched his head and then gave me some money to pop down to the local chemists to buy a bar of plain soap. He chopped it about with a knife and placed it on a display saucer …. unlabelled! Goes to show that even scientists can stretch a point in aid of a good story.

    Reply
  2. This takes me back to a school open day when I was in charge of the soap making demo in the chemistry lab. We had an impressive array of flasks and chemicals but alas the final soap product was a gooey mess. The chem master scratched his head and then gave me some money to pop down to the local chemists to buy a bar of plain soap. He chopped it about with a knife and placed it on a display saucer …. unlabelled! Goes to show that even scientists can stretch a point in aid of a good story.

    Reply
  3. This takes me back to a school open day when I was in charge of the soap making demo in the chemistry lab. We had an impressive array of flasks and chemicals but alas the final soap product was a gooey mess. The chem master scratched his head and then gave me some money to pop down to the local chemists to buy a bar of plain soap. He chopped it about with a knife and placed it on a display saucer …. unlabelled! Goes to show that even scientists can stretch a point in aid of a good story.

    Reply
  4. This takes me back to a school open day when I was in charge of the soap making demo in the chemistry lab. We had an impressive array of flasks and chemicals but alas the final soap product was a gooey mess. The chem master scratched his head and then gave me some money to pop down to the local chemists to buy a bar of plain soap. He chopped it about with a knife and placed it on a display saucer …. unlabelled! Goes to show that even scientists can stretch a point in aid of a good story.

    Reply
  5. This takes me back to a school open day when I was in charge of the soap making demo in the chemistry lab. We had an impressive array of flasks and chemicals but alas the final soap product was a gooey mess. The chem master scratched his head and then gave me some money to pop down to the local chemists to buy a bar of plain soap. He chopped it about with a knife and placed it on a display saucer …. unlabelled! Goes to show that even scientists can stretch a point in aid of a good story.

    Reply
  6. Thanks, I’ve been doing similar research for my 18th Century Midwife heroine, she hounded her father about washing his hands in lye soap “Cleanliness is next to godliness. I used observational medicine as an excuse for him to habitually clean and wash before treating his patients. The American Colonial Interpreters I’ve talked to have mentioned in the journals they have read that some surgeons had noticed differences in how their patients healed after they cleaned their hands. I’ll be using some of what you outlined. Also, I’m a Member of the Society of Civil War Surgeons. You and your fellow wenches may like my favorite source of medical knowledge. Pete D’Onoforio, PHD is a recognized expert in Medicine leading up to, during, and after the American Civil War. He’ll be glad to answer questions. He can be reached at http://www.civilwarsurgeons.org. Your Doctor sounds interesting. He reminds me somewhat of Lisa Kleypas’s Dr. Garrett Gibson, a female doctor in Victorian London. I enjoy reading about her in the “Ravenel Series.” I’ll be looking forward to reading about him.

    Reply
  7. Thanks, I’ve been doing similar research for my 18th Century Midwife heroine, she hounded her father about washing his hands in lye soap “Cleanliness is next to godliness. I used observational medicine as an excuse for him to habitually clean and wash before treating his patients. The American Colonial Interpreters I’ve talked to have mentioned in the journals they have read that some surgeons had noticed differences in how their patients healed after they cleaned their hands. I’ll be using some of what you outlined. Also, I’m a Member of the Society of Civil War Surgeons. You and your fellow wenches may like my favorite source of medical knowledge. Pete D’Onoforio, PHD is a recognized expert in Medicine leading up to, during, and after the American Civil War. He’ll be glad to answer questions. He can be reached at http://www.civilwarsurgeons.org. Your Doctor sounds interesting. He reminds me somewhat of Lisa Kleypas’s Dr. Garrett Gibson, a female doctor in Victorian London. I enjoy reading about her in the “Ravenel Series.” I’ll be looking forward to reading about him.

    Reply
  8. Thanks, I’ve been doing similar research for my 18th Century Midwife heroine, she hounded her father about washing his hands in lye soap “Cleanliness is next to godliness. I used observational medicine as an excuse for him to habitually clean and wash before treating his patients. The American Colonial Interpreters I’ve talked to have mentioned in the journals they have read that some surgeons had noticed differences in how their patients healed after they cleaned their hands. I’ll be using some of what you outlined. Also, I’m a Member of the Society of Civil War Surgeons. You and your fellow wenches may like my favorite source of medical knowledge. Pete D’Onoforio, PHD is a recognized expert in Medicine leading up to, during, and after the American Civil War. He’ll be glad to answer questions. He can be reached at http://www.civilwarsurgeons.org. Your Doctor sounds interesting. He reminds me somewhat of Lisa Kleypas’s Dr. Garrett Gibson, a female doctor in Victorian London. I enjoy reading about her in the “Ravenel Series.” I’ll be looking forward to reading about him.

    Reply
  9. Thanks, I’ve been doing similar research for my 18th Century Midwife heroine, she hounded her father about washing his hands in lye soap “Cleanliness is next to godliness. I used observational medicine as an excuse for him to habitually clean and wash before treating his patients. The American Colonial Interpreters I’ve talked to have mentioned in the journals they have read that some surgeons had noticed differences in how their patients healed after they cleaned their hands. I’ll be using some of what you outlined. Also, I’m a Member of the Society of Civil War Surgeons. You and your fellow wenches may like my favorite source of medical knowledge. Pete D’Onoforio, PHD is a recognized expert in Medicine leading up to, during, and after the American Civil War. He’ll be glad to answer questions. He can be reached at http://www.civilwarsurgeons.org. Your Doctor sounds interesting. He reminds me somewhat of Lisa Kleypas’s Dr. Garrett Gibson, a female doctor in Victorian London. I enjoy reading about her in the “Ravenel Series.” I’ll be looking forward to reading about him.

    Reply
  10. Thanks, I’ve been doing similar research for my 18th Century Midwife heroine, she hounded her father about washing his hands in lye soap “Cleanliness is next to godliness. I used observational medicine as an excuse for him to habitually clean and wash before treating his patients. The American Colonial Interpreters I’ve talked to have mentioned in the journals they have read that some surgeons had noticed differences in how their patients healed after they cleaned their hands. I’ll be using some of what you outlined. Also, I’m a Member of the Society of Civil War Surgeons. You and your fellow wenches may like my favorite source of medical knowledge. Pete D’Onoforio, PHD is a recognized expert in Medicine leading up to, during, and after the American Civil War. He’ll be glad to answer questions. He can be reached at http://www.civilwarsurgeons.org. Your Doctor sounds interesting. He reminds me somewhat of Lisa Kleypas’s Dr. Garrett Gibson, a female doctor in Victorian London. I enjoy reading about her in the “Ravenel Series.” I’ll be looking forward to reading about him.

    Reply
  11. Thank you for the wonderful reference source! A lot of science is observational and the Civil War taught doctors and nurses who cared a lot of things that were put to practical use later. I’m sure if I had time to dig deeper, I could find many sources for washing recommendations from that era. And midwives had lots of time to make this observation and pass it on without modern science ever knowing about it–because, y’know, they weren’t men so what did they know.

    Reply
  12. Thank you for the wonderful reference source! A lot of science is observational and the Civil War taught doctors and nurses who cared a lot of things that were put to practical use later. I’m sure if I had time to dig deeper, I could find many sources for washing recommendations from that era. And midwives had lots of time to make this observation and pass it on without modern science ever knowing about it–because, y’know, they weren’t men so what did they know.

    Reply
  13. Thank you for the wonderful reference source! A lot of science is observational and the Civil War taught doctors and nurses who cared a lot of things that were put to practical use later. I’m sure if I had time to dig deeper, I could find many sources for washing recommendations from that era. And midwives had lots of time to make this observation and pass it on without modern science ever knowing about it–because, y’know, they weren’t men so what did they know.

    Reply
  14. Thank you for the wonderful reference source! A lot of science is observational and the Civil War taught doctors and nurses who cared a lot of things that were put to practical use later. I’m sure if I had time to dig deeper, I could find many sources for washing recommendations from that era. And midwives had lots of time to make this observation and pass it on without modern science ever knowing about it–because, y’know, they weren’t men so what did they know.

    Reply
  15. Thank you for the wonderful reference source! A lot of science is observational and the Civil War taught doctors and nurses who cared a lot of things that were put to practical use later. I’m sure if I had time to dig deeper, I could find many sources for washing recommendations from that era. And midwives had lots of time to make this observation and pass it on without modern science ever knowing about it–because, y’know, they weren’t men so what did they know.

    Reply
  16. When you think of the impossibility of people in the past surviving epidemics–not only no soap, but also absolutely no understanding of the causes of epidemics–it’s hardly surprising that a third of Europe, for example, died in just one of the plague infections. Then, think of the real likelihood of starvation if the epidemic was timed at spring or the harvest. When I read of cholera’s intestinal effects and think of trying to keep someone clean in a time of few sheets, my sympathy increases even more. It’s amazing that anyone would have survived.
    I am thankful that we are just asked to stay home to defeat this latest epidemic. We are so lucky.

    Reply
  17. When you think of the impossibility of people in the past surviving epidemics–not only no soap, but also absolutely no understanding of the causes of epidemics–it’s hardly surprising that a third of Europe, for example, died in just one of the plague infections. Then, think of the real likelihood of starvation if the epidemic was timed at spring or the harvest. When I read of cholera’s intestinal effects and think of trying to keep someone clean in a time of few sheets, my sympathy increases even more. It’s amazing that anyone would have survived.
    I am thankful that we are just asked to stay home to defeat this latest epidemic. We are so lucky.

    Reply
  18. When you think of the impossibility of people in the past surviving epidemics–not only no soap, but also absolutely no understanding of the causes of epidemics–it’s hardly surprising that a third of Europe, for example, died in just one of the plague infections. Then, think of the real likelihood of starvation if the epidemic was timed at spring or the harvest. When I read of cholera’s intestinal effects and think of trying to keep someone clean in a time of few sheets, my sympathy increases even more. It’s amazing that anyone would have survived.
    I am thankful that we are just asked to stay home to defeat this latest epidemic. We are so lucky.

    Reply
  19. When you think of the impossibility of people in the past surviving epidemics–not only no soap, but also absolutely no understanding of the causes of epidemics–it’s hardly surprising that a third of Europe, for example, died in just one of the plague infections. Then, think of the real likelihood of starvation if the epidemic was timed at spring or the harvest. When I read of cholera’s intestinal effects and think of trying to keep someone clean in a time of few sheets, my sympathy increases even more. It’s amazing that anyone would have survived.
    I am thankful that we are just asked to stay home to defeat this latest epidemic. We are so lucky.

    Reply
  20. When you think of the impossibility of people in the past surviving epidemics–not only no soap, but also absolutely no understanding of the causes of epidemics–it’s hardly surprising that a third of Europe, for example, died in just one of the plague infections. Then, think of the real likelihood of starvation if the epidemic was timed at spring or the harvest. When I read of cholera’s intestinal effects and think of trying to keep someone clean in a time of few sheets, my sympathy increases even more. It’s amazing that anyone would have survived.
    I am thankful that we are just asked to stay home to defeat this latest epidemic. We are so lucky.

    Reply
  21. It is a testament to human biology and perseverance that we have survived at all. One must assume some people have a natural immunity to viral infections and whole lot of people didn’t leave near anyone else to have survived those epidemics.

    Reply
  22. It is a testament to human biology and perseverance that we have survived at all. One must assume some people have a natural immunity to viral infections and whole lot of people didn’t leave near anyone else to have survived those epidemics.

    Reply
  23. It is a testament to human biology and perseverance that we have survived at all. One must assume some people have a natural immunity to viral infections and whole lot of people didn’t leave near anyone else to have survived those epidemics.

    Reply
  24. It is a testament to human biology and perseverance that we have survived at all. One must assume some people have a natural immunity to viral infections and whole lot of people didn’t leave near anyone else to have survived those epidemics.

    Reply
  25. It is a testament to human biology and perseverance that we have survived at all. One must assume some people have a natural immunity to viral infections and whole lot of people didn’t leave near anyone else to have survived those epidemics.

    Reply
  26. I read somewhere that Queen Elizabeth only bathed once a year – yuck! And one can only imagine what a crowded Regency ballroom must have smelled like … But going back to antiseptics, yes, we are very lucky we at least understand the causes of epidemics these days!

    Reply
  27. I read somewhere that Queen Elizabeth only bathed once a year – yuck! And one can only imagine what a crowded Regency ballroom must have smelled like … But going back to antiseptics, yes, we are very lucky we at least understand the causes of epidemics these days!

    Reply
  28. I read somewhere that Queen Elizabeth only bathed once a year – yuck! And one can only imagine what a crowded Regency ballroom must have smelled like … But going back to antiseptics, yes, we are very lucky we at least understand the causes of epidemics these days!

    Reply
  29. I read somewhere that Queen Elizabeth only bathed once a year – yuck! And one can only imagine what a crowded Regency ballroom must have smelled like … But going back to antiseptics, yes, we are very lucky we at least understand the causes of epidemics these days!

    Reply
  30. I read somewhere that Queen Elizabeth only bathed once a year – yuck! And one can only imagine what a crowded Regency ballroom must have smelled like … But going back to antiseptics, yes, we are very lucky we at least understand the causes of epidemics these days!

    Reply
  31. A guess/suggestion: If you are using liquid soap, wash the bottlle as well as your hands; it would be fairly easy to do. Soap up, rub your hands all over the bottle; soap up again and wash your hands. Then rinse both at the same time.
    I don’t know if this would work, but I think it would be worth the try.
    i do believe there are people with natural immunity. The 102 year old-woman in Italy who survived both the Swine Flu of 1918 and Covid-19 this year is surely endowed with a natural immunity.
    AND, I remember a conversation between Dr. Max Goldstein (founder of the Central Institute of the Deaf in St. Louis from 1932 util he died) and my mother. They were discussing the Swine flu (he had been an army medic) and he discussed natural and developed immunities and how they helped folk resist flue (remember the 1930s were before we knew virus infections, this was an astute observation type of discussion).

    Reply
  32. A guess/suggestion: If you are using liquid soap, wash the bottlle as well as your hands; it would be fairly easy to do. Soap up, rub your hands all over the bottle; soap up again and wash your hands. Then rinse both at the same time.
    I don’t know if this would work, but I think it would be worth the try.
    i do believe there are people with natural immunity. The 102 year old-woman in Italy who survived both the Swine Flu of 1918 and Covid-19 this year is surely endowed with a natural immunity.
    AND, I remember a conversation between Dr. Max Goldstein (founder of the Central Institute of the Deaf in St. Louis from 1932 util he died) and my mother. They were discussing the Swine flu (he had been an army medic) and he discussed natural and developed immunities and how they helped folk resist flue (remember the 1930s were before we knew virus infections, this was an astute observation type of discussion).

    Reply
  33. A guess/suggestion: If you are using liquid soap, wash the bottlle as well as your hands; it would be fairly easy to do. Soap up, rub your hands all over the bottle; soap up again and wash your hands. Then rinse both at the same time.
    I don’t know if this would work, but I think it would be worth the try.
    i do believe there are people with natural immunity. The 102 year old-woman in Italy who survived both the Swine Flu of 1918 and Covid-19 this year is surely endowed with a natural immunity.
    AND, I remember a conversation between Dr. Max Goldstein (founder of the Central Institute of the Deaf in St. Louis from 1932 util he died) and my mother. They were discussing the Swine flu (he had been an army medic) and he discussed natural and developed immunities and how they helped folk resist flue (remember the 1930s were before we knew virus infections, this was an astute observation type of discussion).

    Reply
  34. A guess/suggestion: If you are using liquid soap, wash the bottlle as well as your hands; it would be fairly easy to do. Soap up, rub your hands all over the bottle; soap up again and wash your hands. Then rinse both at the same time.
    I don’t know if this would work, but I think it would be worth the try.
    i do believe there are people with natural immunity. The 102 year old-woman in Italy who survived both the Swine Flu of 1918 and Covid-19 this year is surely endowed with a natural immunity.
    AND, I remember a conversation between Dr. Max Goldstein (founder of the Central Institute of the Deaf in St. Louis from 1932 util he died) and my mother. They were discussing the Swine flu (he had been an army medic) and he discussed natural and developed immunities and how they helped folk resist flue (remember the 1930s were before we knew virus infections, this was an astute observation type of discussion).

    Reply
  35. A guess/suggestion: If you are using liquid soap, wash the bottlle as well as your hands; it would be fairly easy to do. Soap up, rub your hands all over the bottle; soap up again and wash your hands. Then rinse both at the same time.
    I don’t know if this would work, but I think it would be worth the try.
    i do believe there are people with natural immunity. The 102 year old-woman in Italy who survived both the Swine Flu of 1918 and Covid-19 this year is surely endowed with a natural immunity.
    AND, I remember a conversation between Dr. Max Goldstein (founder of the Central Institute of the Deaf in St. Louis from 1932 util he died) and my mother. They were discussing the Swine flu (he had been an army medic) and he discussed natural and developed immunities and how they helped folk resist flue (remember the 1930s were before we knew virus infections, this was an astute observation type of discussion).

    Reply
  36. I do wish we had the resources to research natural immunities more. I know I’ve never had the flu, but it could simply be because I stay inside a lot. Or because I travel a lot and have been exposed to so many different things… Right now, we simply don’t know.

    Reply
  37. I do wish we had the resources to research natural immunities more. I know I’ve never had the flu, but it could simply be because I stay inside a lot. Or because I travel a lot and have been exposed to so many different things… Right now, we simply don’t know.

    Reply
  38. I do wish we had the resources to research natural immunities more. I know I’ve never had the flu, but it could simply be because I stay inside a lot. Or because I travel a lot and have been exposed to so many different things… Right now, we simply don’t know.

    Reply
  39. I do wish we had the resources to research natural immunities more. I know I’ve never had the flu, but it could simply be because I stay inside a lot. Or because I travel a lot and have been exposed to so many different things… Right now, we simply don’t know.

    Reply
  40. I do wish we had the resources to research natural immunities more. I know I’ve never had the flu, but it could simply be because I stay inside a lot. Or because I travel a lot and have been exposed to so many different things… Right now, we simply don’t know.

    Reply
  41. My mother used to have to hide the Pears soap from me whenever she was taking me to town to be checked out at the clinic. That’s b/c I would eat it and once she found the teeth marks she knew that she might be missing the bus as I didn’t keep it down for too long and ended up having to be changed before going out.

    Reply
  42. My mother used to have to hide the Pears soap from me whenever she was taking me to town to be checked out at the clinic. That’s b/c I would eat it and once she found the teeth marks she knew that she might be missing the bus as I didn’t keep it down for too long and ended up having to be changed before going out.

    Reply
  43. My mother used to have to hide the Pears soap from me whenever she was taking me to town to be checked out at the clinic. That’s b/c I would eat it and once she found the teeth marks she knew that she might be missing the bus as I didn’t keep it down for too long and ended up having to be changed before going out.

    Reply
  44. My mother used to have to hide the Pears soap from me whenever she was taking me to town to be checked out at the clinic. That’s b/c I would eat it and once she found the teeth marks she knew that she might be missing the bus as I didn’t keep it down for too long and ended up having to be changed before going out.

    Reply
  45. My mother used to have to hide the Pears soap from me whenever she was taking me to town to be checked out at the clinic. That’s b/c I would eat it and once she found the teeth marks she knew that she might be missing the bus as I didn’t keep it down for too long and ended up having to be changed before going out.

    Reply
  46. What a fascinating article, Patricia! Thank you. I’ve had little choice but to go out recently as my husband had surgery a week ago, and there have been pre and post surgery appointments. We wear masks and gloves when going somewhere and masks only when taking a walk.

    Reply
  47. What a fascinating article, Patricia! Thank you. I’ve had little choice but to go out recently as my husband had surgery a week ago, and there have been pre and post surgery appointments. We wear masks and gloves when going somewhere and masks only when taking a walk.

    Reply
  48. What a fascinating article, Patricia! Thank you. I’ve had little choice but to go out recently as my husband had surgery a week ago, and there have been pre and post surgery appointments. We wear masks and gloves when going somewhere and masks only when taking a walk.

    Reply
  49. What a fascinating article, Patricia! Thank you. I’ve had little choice but to go out recently as my husband had surgery a week ago, and there have been pre and post surgery appointments. We wear masks and gloves when going somewhere and masks only when taking a walk.

    Reply
  50. What a fascinating article, Patricia! Thank you. I’ve had little choice but to go out recently as my husband had surgery a week ago, and there have been pre and post surgery appointments. We wear masks and gloves when going somewhere and masks only when taking a walk.

    Reply
  51. Thank you … enjoyed this article…
    I feel a little bit smarter… Thank you.
    and I remember Lifeboy soap way back in the mid 1940’s
    So I definitely remember Ivory soap in many forms

    Reply
  52. Thank you … enjoyed this article…
    I feel a little bit smarter… Thank you.
    and I remember Lifeboy soap way back in the mid 1940’s
    So I definitely remember Ivory soap in many forms

    Reply
  53. Thank you … enjoyed this article…
    I feel a little bit smarter… Thank you.
    and I remember Lifeboy soap way back in the mid 1940’s
    So I definitely remember Ivory soap in many forms

    Reply
  54. Thank you … enjoyed this article…
    I feel a little bit smarter… Thank you.
    and I remember Lifeboy soap way back in the mid 1940’s
    So I definitely remember Ivory soap in many forms

    Reply
  55. Thank you … enjoyed this article…
    I feel a little bit smarter… Thank you.
    and I remember Lifeboy soap way back in the mid 1940’s
    So I definitely remember Ivory soap in many forms

    Reply
  56. Since I am older than dirt itself, I remember an interesting fact from my past.
    I went to elementary school in various buildings for several years. It was right after WWII and there were many more kids than school rooms. We had lived through rationing of soap. (there were ingredients which were used in the war effort) so laundry and people were not necessarily washed as frequently as they are today. Generally, children were not absent unless they had something like measles, chicken pox or mumps. So, my unscientific observation would be that people were generally immune to your average run of the mill infections.
    Also, it is a less than nice fact, but kids came to school with runny noses and no concept of what a tissue would do for them. We had lectures by medical people who came in and talked about personal hygiene, not wiping your nose on your hand, etc.
    No, these kids were not raised by wolves, but they were raised by parents who had lived through a depression when the niceties of life were not always available.
    It took my grandmother explaining to me that not everyone had the same opportunities…but of course she also had a Queen Victoria complex. “We are not amused.”
    I reckon we were a sort of hardy bunch. And, it does seem there were immunities in many children then.

    Reply
  57. Since I am older than dirt itself, I remember an interesting fact from my past.
    I went to elementary school in various buildings for several years. It was right after WWII and there were many more kids than school rooms. We had lived through rationing of soap. (there were ingredients which were used in the war effort) so laundry and people were not necessarily washed as frequently as they are today. Generally, children were not absent unless they had something like measles, chicken pox or mumps. So, my unscientific observation would be that people were generally immune to your average run of the mill infections.
    Also, it is a less than nice fact, but kids came to school with runny noses and no concept of what a tissue would do for them. We had lectures by medical people who came in and talked about personal hygiene, not wiping your nose on your hand, etc.
    No, these kids were not raised by wolves, but they were raised by parents who had lived through a depression when the niceties of life were not always available.
    It took my grandmother explaining to me that not everyone had the same opportunities…but of course she also had a Queen Victoria complex. “We are not amused.”
    I reckon we were a sort of hardy bunch. And, it does seem there were immunities in many children then.

    Reply
  58. Since I am older than dirt itself, I remember an interesting fact from my past.
    I went to elementary school in various buildings for several years. It was right after WWII and there were many more kids than school rooms. We had lived through rationing of soap. (there were ingredients which were used in the war effort) so laundry and people were not necessarily washed as frequently as they are today. Generally, children were not absent unless they had something like measles, chicken pox or mumps. So, my unscientific observation would be that people were generally immune to your average run of the mill infections.
    Also, it is a less than nice fact, but kids came to school with runny noses and no concept of what a tissue would do for them. We had lectures by medical people who came in and talked about personal hygiene, not wiping your nose on your hand, etc.
    No, these kids were not raised by wolves, but they were raised by parents who had lived through a depression when the niceties of life were not always available.
    It took my grandmother explaining to me that not everyone had the same opportunities…but of course she also had a Queen Victoria complex. “We are not amused.”
    I reckon we were a sort of hardy bunch. And, it does seem there were immunities in many children then.

    Reply
  59. Since I am older than dirt itself, I remember an interesting fact from my past.
    I went to elementary school in various buildings for several years. It was right after WWII and there were many more kids than school rooms. We had lived through rationing of soap. (there were ingredients which were used in the war effort) so laundry and people were not necessarily washed as frequently as they are today. Generally, children were not absent unless they had something like measles, chicken pox or mumps. So, my unscientific observation would be that people were generally immune to your average run of the mill infections.
    Also, it is a less than nice fact, but kids came to school with runny noses and no concept of what a tissue would do for them. We had lectures by medical people who came in and talked about personal hygiene, not wiping your nose on your hand, etc.
    No, these kids were not raised by wolves, but they were raised by parents who had lived through a depression when the niceties of life were not always available.
    It took my grandmother explaining to me that not everyone had the same opportunities…but of course she also had a Queen Victoria complex. “We are not amused.”
    I reckon we were a sort of hardy bunch. And, it does seem there were immunities in many children then.

    Reply
  60. Since I am older than dirt itself, I remember an interesting fact from my past.
    I went to elementary school in various buildings for several years. It was right after WWII and there were many more kids than school rooms. We had lived through rationing of soap. (there were ingredients which were used in the war effort) so laundry and people were not necessarily washed as frequently as they are today. Generally, children were not absent unless they had something like measles, chicken pox or mumps. So, my unscientific observation would be that people were generally immune to your average run of the mill infections.
    Also, it is a less than nice fact, but kids came to school with runny noses and no concept of what a tissue would do for them. We had lectures by medical people who came in and talked about personal hygiene, not wiping your nose on your hand, etc.
    No, these kids were not raised by wolves, but they were raised by parents who had lived through a depression when the niceties of life were not always available.
    It took my grandmother explaining to me that not everyone had the same opportunities…but of course she also had a Queen Victoria complex. “We are not amused.”
    I reckon we were a sort of hardy bunch. And, it does seem there were immunities in many children then.

    Reply
  61. You are, of course, all right about natural immunities. Patricia Rice–you’ve NEVER had the flu? Yep, you must have natural immunity.
    However, seeing that 70% of children died before 10, at least until what–1850s (I KNOW the statistic is true for colonial America–AND the low life expectancy before the 20th century, we are lucky to live today.

    Reply
  62. You are, of course, all right about natural immunities. Patricia Rice–you’ve NEVER had the flu? Yep, you must have natural immunity.
    However, seeing that 70% of children died before 10, at least until what–1850s (I KNOW the statistic is true for colonial America–AND the low life expectancy before the 20th century, we are lucky to live today.

    Reply
  63. You are, of course, all right about natural immunities. Patricia Rice–you’ve NEVER had the flu? Yep, you must have natural immunity.
    However, seeing that 70% of children died before 10, at least until what–1850s (I KNOW the statistic is true for colonial America–AND the low life expectancy before the 20th century, we are lucky to live today.

    Reply
  64. You are, of course, all right about natural immunities. Patricia Rice–you’ve NEVER had the flu? Yep, you must have natural immunity.
    However, seeing that 70% of children died before 10, at least until what–1850s (I KNOW the statistic is true for colonial America–AND the low life expectancy before the 20th century, we are lucky to live today.

    Reply
  65. You are, of course, all right about natural immunities. Patricia Rice–you’ve NEVER had the flu? Yep, you must have natural immunity.
    However, seeing that 70% of children died before 10, at least until what–1850s (I KNOW the statistic is true for colonial America–AND the low life expectancy before the 20th century, we are lucky to live today.

    Reply
  66. I have no scientific evidence other than my experience, at a later date than yours, that we build immunity by exposure. But people with low immunity for whatever reason would get sick. Either way, Soap is Good. 😉

    Reply
  67. I have no scientific evidence other than my experience, at a later date than yours, that we build immunity by exposure. But people with low immunity for whatever reason would get sick. Either way, Soap is Good. 😉

    Reply
  68. I have no scientific evidence other than my experience, at a later date than yours, that we build immunity by exposure. But people with low immunity for whatever reason would get sick. Either way, Soap is Good. 😉

    Reply
  69. I have no scientific evidence other than my experience, at a later date than yours, that we build immunity by exposure. But people with low immunity for whatever reason would get sick. Either way, Soap is Good. 😉

    Reply
  70. I have no scientific evidence other than my experience, at a later date than yours, that we build immunity by exposure. But people with low immunity for whatever reason would get sick. Either way, Soap is Good. 😉

    Reply
  71. Given how many ways children could die–fires, falling trees, tumbling in rivers–I am amazed that any of us survived. We didn’t have all those extra precautions we do today with signs and fences and whatever. I’m not certain how mothers lived through the tragedies.

    Reply
  72. Given how many ways children could die–fires, falling trees, tumbling in rivers–I am amazed that any of us survived. We didn’t have all those extra precautions we do today with signs and fences and whatever. I’m not certain how mothers lived through the tragedies.

    Reply
  73. Given how many ways children could die–fires, falling trees, tumbling in rivers–I am amazed that any of us survived. We didn’t have all those extra precautions we do today with signs and fences and whatever. I’m not certain how mothers lived through the tragedies.

    Reply
  74. Given how many ways children could die–fires, falling trees, tumbling in rivers–I am amazed that any of us survived. We didn’t have all those extra precautions we do today with signs and fences and whatever. I’m not certain how mothers lived through the tragedies.

    Reply
  75. Given how many ways children could die–fires, falling trees, tumbling in rivers–I am amazed that any of us survived. We didn’t have all those extra precautions we do today with signs and fences and whatever. I’m not certain how mothers lived through the tragedies.

    Reply
  76. Fascinating, thankyou! I am so grateful for the invention of soap, both for personal washing and also cleaning clothes and dishes, etc. Some people may think being gifted a lovely cake of soap is boring, but I always delight if given it and use it to the last sliver. I do remember making soap in science at school, then pouring it away at the end of the lesson and clogging the drain! Fortunately the teacher was kind. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Reply
  77. Fascinating, thankyou! I am so grateful for the invention of soap, both for personal washing and also cleaning clothes and dishes, etc. Some people may think being gifted a lovely cake of soap is boring, but I always delight if given it and use it to the last sliver. I do remember making soap in science at school, then pouring it away at the end of the lesson and clogging the drain! Fortunately the teacher was kind. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Reply
  78. Fascinating, thankyou! I am so grateful for the invention of soap, both for personal washing and also cleaning clothes and dishes, etc. Some people may think being gifted a lovely cake of soap is boring, but I always delight if given it and use it to the last sliver. I do remember making soap in science at school, then pouring it away at the end of the lesson and clogging the drain! Fortunately the teacher was kind. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Reply
  79. Fascinating, thankyou! I am so grateful for the invention of soap, both for personal washing and also cleaning clothes and dishes, etc. Some people may think being gifted a lovely cake of soap is boring, but I always delight if given it and use it to the last sliver. I do remember making soap in science at school, then pouring it away at the end of the lesson and clogging the drain! Fortunately the teacher was kind. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Reply
  80. Fascinating, thankyou! I am so grateful for the invention of soap, both for personal washing and also cleaning clothes and dishes, etc. Some people may think being gifted a lovely cake of soap is boring, but I always delight if given it and use it to the last sliver. I do remember making soap in science at school, then pouring it away at the end of the lesson and clogging the drain! Fortunately the teacher was kind. Thanks for an interesting post.

    Reply
  81. Let’s take a moment to fondly remember that immortal scene from the movie A Christmas Story:
    “She washed out my mouth with soap. And not just any soap. Lifebuoy.”
    😂😂😂

    Reply
  82. Let’s take a moment to fondly remember that immortal scene from the movie A Christmas Story:
    “She washed out my mouth with soap. And not just any soap. Lifebuoy.”
    😂😂😂

    Reply
  83. Let’s take a moment to fondly remember that immortal scene from the movie A Christmas Story:
    “She washed out my mouth with soap. And not just any soap. Lifebuoy.”
    😂😂😂

    Reply
  84. Let’s take a moment to fondly remember that immortal scene from the movie A Christmas Story:
    “She washed out my mouth with soap. And not just any soap. Lifebuoy.”
    😂😂😂

    Reply
  85. Let’s take a moment to fondly remember that immortal scene from the movie A Christmas Story:
    “She washed out my mouth with soap. And not just any soap. Lifebuoy.”
    😂😂😂

    Reply
  86. For a few years a girlfriend and I made soap at her home which had storage space and a bigger kitchen than mine. We worked from “The Soapmaker’s Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques & Know-How” by Susan Miller Cavich. We tried out several different recipes before settling on “See You Later, Alligator” a super-fatted variety that brought rave reviews from family and friends. Super-fatted soaps are made with more oils or fat than the amount needed to complete the chemical reaction between the lye and the fat. My uncle liked it so much he ordered batches made just for him and paid us for the materials. I recommend the book to anyone taking up soap making. This soap is long way from “grandma’s lye soap”. I found your history of soap making fascinating. Most of the books I read in the Roman Era suggest that the baths used slaves with scrapers and hot and cold soaks. Hmmmm. I’ve noticed that more than one of my favorite authors of Regency novels had doctors who’d learned the hard way that their cleanliness helped the patients survive. I can accept that.

    Reply
  87. For a few years a girlfriend and I made soap at her home which had storage space and a bigger kitchen than mine. We worked from “The Soapmaker’s Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques & Know-How” by Susan Miller Cavich. We tried out several different recipes before settling on “See You Later, Alligator” a super-fatted variety that brought rave reviews from family and friends. Super-fatted soaps are made with more oils or fat than the amount needed to complete the chemical reaction between the lye and the fat. My uncle liked it so much he ordered batches made just for him and paid us for the materials. I recommend the book to anyone taking up soap making. This soap is long way from “grandma’s lye soap”. I found your history of soap making fascinating. Most of the books I read in the Roman Era suggest that the baths used slaves with scrapers and hot and cold soaks. Hmmmm. I’ve noticed that more than one of my favorite authors of Regency novels had doctors who’d learned the hard way that their cleanliness helped the patients survive. I can accept that.

    Reply
  88. For a few years a girlfriend and I made soap at her home which had storage space and a bigger kitchen than mine. We worked from “The Soapmaker’s Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques & Know-How” by Susan Miller Cavich. We tried out several different recipes before settling on “See You Later, Alligator” a super-fatted variety that brought rave reviews from family and friends. Super-fatted soaps are made with more oils or fat than the amount needed to complete the chemical reaction between the lye and the fat. My uncle liked it so much he ordered batches made just for him and paid us for the materials. I recommend the book to anyone taking up soap making. This soap is long way from “grandma’s lye soap”. I found your history of soap making fascinating. Most of the books I read in the Roman Era suggest that the baths used slaves with scrapers and hot and cold soaks. Hmmmm. I’ve noticed that more than one of my favorite authors of Regency novels had doctors who’d learned the hard way that their cleanliness helped the patients survive. I can accept that.

    Reply
  89. For a few years a girlfriend and I made soap at her home which had storage space and a bigger kitchen than mine. We worked from “The Soapmaker’s Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques & Know-How” by Susan Miller Cavich. We tried out several different recipes before settling on “See You Later, Alligator” a super-fatted variety that brought rave reviews from family and friends. Super-fatted soaps are made with more oils or fat than the amount needed to complete the chemical reaction between the lye and the fat. My uncle liked it so much he ordered batches made just for him and paid us for the materials. I recommend the book to anyone taking up soap making. This soap is long way from “grandma’s lye soap”. I found your history of soap making fascinating. Most of the books I read in the Roman Era suggest that the baths used slaves with scrapers and hot and cold soaks. Hmmmm. I’ve noticed that more than one of my favorite authors of Regency novels had doctors who’d learned the hard way that their cleanliness helped the patients survive. I can accept that.

    Reply
  90. For a few years a girlfriend and I made soap at her home which had storage space and a bigger kitchen than mine. We worked from “The Soapmaker’s Companion: A Comprehensive Guide with Recipes, Techniques & Know-How” by Susan Miller Cavich. We tried out several different recipes before settling on “See You Later, Alligator” a super-fatted variety that brought rave reviews from family and friends. Super-fatted soaps are made with more oils or fat than the amount needed to complete the chemical reaction between the lye and the fat. My uncle liked it so much he ordered batches made just for him and paid us for the materials. I recommend the book to anyone taking up soap making. This soap is long way from “grandma’s lye soap”. I found your history of soap making fascinating. Most of the books I read in the Roman Era suggest that the baths used slaves with scrapers and hot and cold soaks. Hmmmm. I’ve noticed that more than one of my favorite authors of Regency novels had doctors who’d learned the hard way that their cleanliness helped the patients survive. I can accept that.

    Reply
  91. thanks for the recommendation! And as women, most Regency writers accept that smart midwives would figure out that cleanliness could only help. Persuading doctors might have been difficult–but if theyre heroes, then theyd catch on fast. G

    Reply
  92. thanks for the recommendation! And as women, most Regency writers accept that smart midwives would figure out that cleanliness could only help. Persuading doctors might have been difficult–but if theyre heroes, then theyd catch on fast. G

    Reply
  93. thanks for the recommendation! And as women, most Regency writers accept that smart midwives would figure out that cleanliness could only help. Persuading doctors might have been difficult–but if theyre heroes, then theyd catch on fast. G

    Reply
  94. thanks for the recommendation! And as women, most Regency writers accept that smart midwives would figure out that cleanliness could only help. Persuading doctors might have been difficult–but if theyre heroes, then theyd catch on fast. G

    Reply
  95. thanks for the recommendation! And as women, most Regency writers accept that smart midwives would figure out that cleanliness could only help. Persuading doctors might have been difficult–but if theyre heroes, then theyd catch on fast. G

    Reply

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