Some really cool info here!
Just an FYI--some of those links work, and some you need a password for. Not sure why.
Apparently to read some of the info, you need to 'pay' for a library card. Hmmmm.
Last edited by Darkhorse1; September 2nd, 2008 at 10:15 AM. Reason: addition
This is fascinating. Enjoy!
ETA: Reference (this can probably be found online): "Directions for Cleansing", from S.J. Chadwick, "Some Papers Relating to the Plauge in Yorkshire," Yorkshire Archaeological Journal...this is from the 1500s. (European plague is recorded from 1347 in Italy but I just briefly thumbed through a book I had and listed the first reference I came across. Much earlier ones obviously exist.) And yes, many believed bodily cleansing could encourage the plague, though typically this was based on ancient Hippocratic teachings about opening of the pores rather than the belief that "something" was in the water. (The water theory was supposed poisoning on the part of the Jews, part of an anti-Semitic sentiment.) However, this was only one theory; the entire populace did not agree at any given time in any given place on what "caused" the Plague. The air ("miasma") was another theoretical carrier of the plague, and obviously, divine punishment was up there on the list. A theory was even circulated in pamphlets at least in England but I believe in Germany and Italy as well that too much exercise caused one to fall ill with the Plague. So too were beliefs in too much food and wine or too little food and wine. But general filth, not necessarily on the body but in the streets and in households, was absolutely looked upon as a possible plague encourager...though people were not necessarily sure why.
Last edited by GlennaGirl; September 2nd, 2008 at 11:16 AM.
Rainwater and wood ashes makes Lye, which is used to make soap..
Ok, on this same sort of subject I'm trying to gather information specific to 19th century hair care for women. Recipes for shampoos and other treatments and I'm having a dickens of a time trying to find stuff.
Does anyone have any sources for information they would care to share?
Darkhorse1: I found this part in that Wiki article to be particularly interesting - "While both soaps and shampoos contain surfactants, soap bonds to oils with such affinity that it removes too much if used on hair. Shampoo uses a different class of surfactants balanced to avoid removing too much oil from the hair."
This seems to imply that soap shouldn't be used for hair....
my hair colour in different types of light