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  1. #1
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    Default LAUNDRY MAN AND LAUNDRESS AND IRONER

    Hello Rootschat

    Please could you tell me what working conditions were like working at a laundry in the 1870s, 1880s, 1890s and 1900s. Thank you.

    All female members of the family: mother, sister, mother-in-law and daughters are working at a laundry (not at home as laundry work could be done at home). I know people died from all different causes but the mother, sister and daughters died very young, just waiting for their death certificates but I have read that they suffered from being in constant wet and damp conditions.

    Just out of interest have found out why there were so many 'Chinese' laundries, laundry work provided work for the Chinese sailors who chose to settle in England rather than go out to sea again and the sailors would setup laundries with their English wives. William Achong is fascinating, born in 1824 in China.

    I expect it is unlikely, but would there still be records kept of who worked in the laundries? Fulham is known to have several laundries but without an actual name of the laundry would you expect to work at the closest laundry and/or where work was available?

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
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    If you search the web for say Laundries in 1891, and click on the images you will see a lot of photographs of laundries from that era. Doesn't help with your question, but it would give you some idea of conditions at that time.

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  4. #3
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    Thank you - found these.

    http://www.avictorian.com/servants_laundry.html

    https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research...girls-r1136823

    http://www.britishchineseheritagecen...B4%97%E8%A1%A3

    http://www.oldandinteresting.com/his...g-clothes.aspx

    http://auntiemabel.org/wp-content/up...-laundress.pdf

    https://englishhistoryauthors.blogsp...d-laundry.html

    Have read an interesting article previously (but now can't find!!) about the health of laundry workers being affected by the constant wet and damp - but people were exposed to so many diseases being housed so closely together, with so many people in the same rooms.

    With regard to damp, bed linen every morning had to be thrown back to 'air' and then a metal bed pan used each evening to remove any accumulated damp which could cause serious illness overnight.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_warmer

    Watching the Antiques Roadshow Victorian householders and those travelling to lodging houses/boarding houses would use a damp detector every night in their bed before going to sleep so they could make arrangements to remove excess damp.

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