SOURCE: Wall Street Journal
The Middle Ages Were Much Cleaner Than We Think
by Eleanor Janega
Our myths about medieval cleanliness are contradicted by mountains of evidence about the lengths people of all social classes went to to bathe.
SOURCE: The Conversation
The Dirty History of Soap
by Judith Ridner
Evolving from home production utilizing waste to industrial manufacturing using highly engineered ingredients, the making of soap has been a dirty process.
A (Surprisingly) Brief History Of Handwashing
Historian Peter Ward, author of "The Clean Body: A Modern History," contextualizes handwashing among humans.
'You Must Wash Properly.' Newspaper Ads From the 1918 Flu Pandemic Show Some Things Never Change
While the 1918 flu and COVID-19 are different diseases, newspaper advertisements from 1918 show that, in some ways, the two moments are strikingly similar.
SOURCE: Washington Post
The Power of Purell Compels You!
The Purellification of America is about sanitation, but it is really about sanity. Fear, control, and the fear that we have no control.
SOURCE: Washington Post
Toilet Paper Takes Center Stage Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Be thankful we no longer use corn cobs and rope ends.
The Evolution Of Hand-Washing, Explained By A Historian
by Constance Grady
Hand-washing as a social responsibility is a fairly new concept.
The History of Personal Hygiene: An Interview with Peter Ward
by Aleisha Smith
"The history of the unremarkable and the ordinary have an importance of their own, one that can easily surpass the history of greatness in any of its many forms."
SOURCE: Scientific American
A brief history of toilet hygiene
The last time I visited Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts was in 2004 to see a Rembrandt exhibition. But I might have wandered away from the works of the Dutch master in search of an ancient Greek artifact, had I known at the time that the object in question, a wine vessel, was in the museum’s collection. According to the 2012 Christmas issue of the BMJ (preacronymically known as the British Medical Journal), the 2,500-year-old cup, created by one of the anonymous artisans who helped to shape Western culture, is adorned with the image of a man wiping his butt.That revelation appears in an article entitled “Toilet Hygiene in the Classical Era,” by French anthropologist and forensic medicine researcher Philippe Charlier and his colleagues. Their report examines tidying techniques used way back—and the resultant medical issues. Such a study is in keeping with the BMJ‘s tradition of offbeat subject matter for its late December issue—as noted in this space five years ago: “Had the Puritans never left Britain for New England, they might later have fled the British Medical Journal to found the New England Journal of Medicine.”
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