In Victorian times, soap manufacturers built some of the largest factories in the world, employing tens of thousands of people. Such was the demand for detergent in our polluted, grimy cities and towns. This photograph was taken on the Isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. Household chores would have been carried out in the same way for hundreds of years and here we see a communal washing day. The ladies are pummelling clothes with their feet. They wouldn’t have had access to the new-fangled soaps and may have used natural detergents made from plants or seaweed.
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