TIL Old Hygiene Habits – Water heaters weren’t exactly common housing components during the 1800s, so it actually took a lot of work to heat up water for baths. As such, most families simply bathed one at the same time, one right after the other, rather than go through the hassle of heating water

Read more: https://autooverload.com/extraordinary-wild-west-hygiene-practices/2/

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  1. My father was born in VERY rural Kentucky, one of TWELVE siblings (not sure what # he was) which included 3 sets of twins (one set did not make it past two months old)….Annnd he was born in a three sided “lean-to” because their very small farm house burned to the ground (no deaths from said fire) and their “new small farmhouse” wasn’t yet finished when he was born.

    They had no indoor plumbing… yes an outhouse of course and a very good well close by with lots of fresh water for the household, the chores, the livestock, the garden etc and of course for bathing…..and yes it indeed DID need to be heated by a fire.

    My grandfather worked in a quarry and would come home from work filthy dirty. My grandmother, on “bath nite” would make sure that my grandfather, THE dirtiest one of the bunch got his bath LAST as yes, they ALL used the same water IF THEY COULD and she never waivered from that. And no one dared challenge her on this point. WHY?? Because the baby was the most vulnerable, as was the “littles” as she called them…the youngest went first and they were “done right and quick” and so on “up” the line in age until it was my grandfather’s turn. By then….grandma had a bunch of clean kids who could now empty the bath/refill if necessary and the water to be put in had already been heating IF THE WATER NEEDED CHANGING. Sometimes it was everybody and sometimes grandpa got “new”…but not alwayyyys….

    Her thinking was…he’s only gonna go back out tomorrow and get himself filthy again working and he can handle that and tonite he’ll be “clean enuff to sleep in the bed “…the kids come FIRST.

    She had a saying “ain’t nobody gonna throw my babies out with the bathwater round here…I worked too hard pushing them into this world”… and she stuck by that. Grandpa didn’t mind and agreed with her…and on some of those bath nites, he’d get a “fresh amount of hot water” for HIS bath and his dinner in the washtub….eating and soaking…he didn’t mind that either! LOL!

    Not EVERYBODY back then put the “man first” and not every man *expected* to be “put first” either….in my eyes, a man that puts all those children FIRST before himself was a man.

    His wife died about 4 yrs after the house was built, the quarry stopped being a quarry and he migrated up to Rochester, NY and ended up working for Kodak until he VERY comfortably retired from there…with two bathrooms and a huge hot water tank LOL.

    People may be born into poverty like my grandpa and my dad/his siblings, but they don’t have to stay there…in my case, my father, his siblings and grandpa didn’t either…

    Annnnd….thankfully I NEVER HAD A SET OF TWINS lol……something I was terrified of…my fathers brother Jim’s children both did (one of his daughters and a son) …THEY both had a set of twins!!! Skipped meee!!!! Whew!

  2. Even growing up poor on Maui, my dad’s family had a wood burning furo (Japanese bath) in the backyard. They’d heat it up and then my grandfather would go first and the kids would go in order of age. My poor dad being the youngest. 😂

    These were quite common in those days.

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