Gross Hygiene Habits Of Wyoming’s Wild West
People today have much better hygiene habits than way back when.
There was a time that things done to keep clean were actually unhealthy!
If you don't have the stomach for it, do not read this post.
Honestly, some of this stuff just defies logic.
Towels in saloons
A towel was kept hanging near the stools at the bar. It was used to wipe the foam from the beers off the beards. It was rarely cleaned or replaced.
Shared Hotel Rooms
If you rented a room at a hotel the chances are you would not be sleeping alone. As many beds as possible were jammed into those rooms. If a mattress was big enough then it would have to be shared. That meant sleeping on the same mattress with a stranger.
Natures calls in the middle of the night? Too cold or too far to go outside? Pull the pot from under the bed and, well, you know. That is where we get the expression about poor people. "He doesn't have a pot to piss in."
There was one toothbrush for cleaning up. Everyone used it. Even at hotels. Look, as long as you brush your teeth then what's the problem if everybody else was using the same toothbrush?
Most mattresses were shared, even at hotels. Mattresses and pillows were stuffed with hay and straw. That stuffing came with a lot of bugs. Hence the expression, "don't let the bed bugs bite."
Drinking Water & Sewage
Most sewage and runoff from livestock flowed right down into the water supply. People still bathed with it and drank it.
Whipping the bottom after using the outhouse usually involved using hay or corn cobs. This was tough stuff that could lead to scaring. Scaring led to infections in the butt.
In modern times we shower and change our clothes every day. But way back when people only had two outfits, one more if they had the money for it. So bathing was rare and clothing was worn day after day. Even undergarments. This led to fungus gowning in the clothing and on the skin.
Baths were rare. No such things as taking a shower back then. It was common for water to be heated and then folks took turns taking baths. So, you better be the first one in.
I bet you are now SO GLAD you live in modern times.