On 6/10/09 10:50 AM, antigone68104 wrote:
> For a good chunk of human history, a "hot bath" meant
> heating water on the stove one kettle at a time and
> carrying it to a tub. With that much work, I can see why
> people just washed hands and faces regularly and saved a
> full bath for Saturday night.
Speaking as someone who remembers that history -- well, we
had indoor plumbing by the time I was old enough to
remember, but in the summer (when the coal furnace wasn't
providing a constant source of heat), a shower started with
Daddy going out into the back room and building a fire under
the water heater, then if I was in a hurry, I'd lean against
the tank until I got uncomfortable so I'd know the first
moment the water was hot enough to shower in. Showers were
mostly for the times when you needed to wash your hair.
(That was *such* an improvement over washing hair in the
You *can* clean your entire body in a washbowl. (There are
detailed instructions in "How to be Pretty though Plain",
which one of these years I'm going to get around to scanning
and posting on the Web.)
And I know from current experience that you can bathe quite
comfortably in ice water. The key is to wring your rag well
before you rub it on yourself -- the small amount of
remaining water can't soak up much heat, but if you rinse
the rag frequently, it does a good job of cleaning. Takes
longer to get the soap off than just pouring water over
yourself, of course.
It's a good idea to rinse your rag in the very minimum of
water, so that you can change the water several times
without filling up the slop bucket.
-- Writers' Exchange
west of Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.A.
where it's raining.