Baths were once optional, water had to be carried in jugs to fill a bath, and people (a) stank and (b) got diseases. Then came the 'chip heater', hot water for all. guess what it sounds like. -- Anon Guest
Ne'er cast a clout 'till May be out -- pre-industrial era saying.
It was the paradox of the northern realms: bathe regularly, and you would catch your death from the icy winds that crept in through the chinks in the mortar, or bled away your life through the stone that made the buildings. Do not bathe regularly, and the pox or the plague would find you anyway.
Solutions to this quandry were many and varied, including boiling water in a cauldron and tipping it over the plentiful snow, then using an array of sheets or blankets to cover the bathing bodies in the tub. That said, getting the water from well to cauldron to tin tub was a herculean and monotonous effort, so Sundays were the day to cleanse the soul, and Mondays were the day to cleanse everything else.
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