14:15 - 15:00

The first thing women on the Mayflower did when they disembarked in America was the washing!  Laundress and charwoman was the survival employment of an impoverished widow. A social history of mangles, possers, dollies, washboards and flat irons. Soap Tax and soap making, soapwort, bleach and starch before the proprietary brands of Sunlight soap, soap and candle-makers Proctor & Gamble, and Reckitt’s blue bags. From impoverished laundress to the middle-class servant and copper to stately homes and large laundries and the arrival of washhouses following the 1844 Act. Monday will never be the same again

Adèle Emm

Adèle Emm is the author of Tracing Your Trade and Craftsman Ancestors (Pen and Sword 2015) and My Ancestors worked in Textile Mills (to be published by Society of Genealogists) and numerous articles in genealogy magazines.

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