Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rub Dub Dub. . .




As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, the Tennessee History Festival included a number of exhibits. Some of the exhibitors set up "camps" complete with campfires, shelter and more. Note the day's wash hanging on the line, as well as the four, metal tubs.
The two in the middle were actually bathing tubs. The one on the right is styled more towards the eastern (as in Oriental) style, where the tub was longer so that the bather could lie down in it. The one with the higher back was of the western style. The high back allowed the bather to sit up while bathing. Of course, his/her legs hung out of the thing. The other two tubs were mainly vessels in which the early settlers washed anything - clothing, food, the kids.
Of course, the water had to be poured in or pumped in by hand, and removed the same way. To keep the water (and bather) somewhat warm, the settlers moved them near a fire. Several bathers would share the same water, warming it up a bit with fresh water heated on the fire.
One interesting side fact is that many thought that bathing, especially in winter, was not good for you. . .that it caused chills and fevers and such. In medieval times, people believed that water carried all sorts of diseases, and that belief stuck for hundreds of years. In 1835, Philadelphia's leaders tried to pass a law banning bathing during the winter. It failed. In 1845, Boston's leaders forbade bathing except in cases of medical need.

8 comments:

quintarantino said...

Chris, the story is great but you have the same problem again. No photo is being showed.

quintarantino said...

It´s a funny photo. Yes indeed.

Mike said...

I don't think I'd like my legs hanging out!

HoodPhotography said...

This is a cute photo. Love the story behind it and the colors!

isabella said...

Getting your washing done before the trip to FM? ;-)

Wendy said...

Nothing like the smell of clean clothes that have dried outside in the fresh air and sunshine. You did an excellent job of writing about the tubs. I learned something new from reading it.

J.A. said...

Good blog, Good photo! I like photos with stories behind (even if it's pure fantasy), that's why I explain very little or nothing about the photos I publish in my blog Sesimbra. Just think of the things you could imagine about this picture...

I found your blog on CityDailyPhotoblog, where I have just subscribed (still pending) and I hope to join you in this community.

Beth Howard said...

Hey Chris! I saw this going on when walking back from my lunch at the Farmer's Market. I took a bunch of photos of the quilts they were using as a changing room!