Lowerhouse Mile History
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Lowerhouse Mile History

Lowerhouse Mile - 'Bath Time'

Many in the 18th century believed bathing to be harmful so even in rich households it was done in moderation. The theory back then was that germs, then known as miasmas, were everywhere, and they could enter the body through the skin. Therefore bathing the skin, especially in hot water, would leave the pores open so that these germs could seep in and bring about poor health and illness.

During the early part of the 1800's when the Industrial Revolution began, the air in towns and cities was filled with soot and smog, and the housing created and built by mill owners for their employees was often over crowded, which meant that hygiene practices were often limited to a weekly wash in a tin bath placed in front of the living room fire/range.

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On bath days, the tin bath was placed in front of the fire/range
in the living room, and filled with hot water ready for bathing.

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A typical family scene on baths days, as fathers
were always the last to be able to take a bath.

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Preparing the bath for bathing after a hard day at work,
placing the bath as close as possible to the warm fire/range.

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For those family members who were brave enough, outside
bathing was also an option, if the cold did not bother them.

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Children and babies as you would expect, loved
bathing with mother in a warm safe environment.

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Little girls in particular, loved to take charge
of organising bathtime for their fathers.