Discussion Talk Stuff

Sunday Discussion: What Hygiene Was Like In Colonial America

With Coronavirus all around us, hygiene is on the top of people’s minds.  So, what was hygiene like back in Colonial America?

Personal hygiene in the 1700s was heavily maintained through a complicated balance of practicality, religious belief, and social position. Men and women living in colonial America washed their bodies and clothes with varying degrees of regularity, often falling victim to disease and disorder as a result.

Despite the differing attributes of the original colonies, colonial hygiene in the earliest cities and rural settlements in America always left a lot to be desired, with odors, dirt, and waste being inescapable parts of daily life. Middle- and upper-class people tried to avoid or mask common nuisances like insects, usually to no avail, while lower classes simply struggled to survive.

See what life was like from Weird History below.