Timeline of hygiene
This is a timeline of hygiene, attempting to describe important aspects of human hygiene through the use of artifacts and statistical data display. Toilet developent is covered on the timeline of sanitation.
|Time period||Development summary|
|Ancient times||Soap is already produced in the Middle East. Thoothbrushing is already developed by civilizations in Egypt and Babylonia. Regular bathing is a distinctive feature of the Roman civilization.|
|Middle Ages||Soap making becomes an established trade. In Europe, Purity of the soul is emphasized over the cleanliness of the outer, however, some scholars argue that people in Medieval Europe probably bathed more than people in the 19th century.. In Japan, daily bathing becomes a common custom. In Iceland, pools warmed with water from hot springs are popular gathering places on Saturday evenings.|
|19th Century||Modern sanitation starts becoming adopted. By the end of the century, deodorants can be found in many forms, including roll-ins, powders, creams, pads, solid, and dabbers.|
|20th Century||Commercially-made shampoo becomes available from the turn of the century. Between 1963 and 1998, approximately 3000 toothbrush patents are filed worldwide. In the early 1980s, electronic bidets are introduced in Japan. In the late 1990s and early part of the 21st century, alcohol rub non-water-based hand hygiene agents (also known as alcohol-based hand rubs, antiseptic hand rubs, or hand sanitizers) begin to gain popularity.|
|Year||Event type||Details||Present time country/location|
|3500 BC–3000 BC||Babylonians and the Egyptians already make toothbrushing tools by fraying the end of a twig.|
|3000 BC||Dental hygiene||Ancient Egyptians develop an early form of toothbrush, a stick with one end flayed to soften the wood fibres. It is as well reported that Egyptians used tooth powder containing powdered ashes of ox hooves, myrrh, powdered burnt egg shells and pumice. Ancient Egyptians would also freshen their breath by chewing on fragrant mixtures with honey.||Egypt|
|2800 BC||Body hygiene||The earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates from this time in ancient Babylon.|
|2200 BC||Body hygiene||A formula for soap consisting of water, alkali, and cassia oil is written on a Babylonian clay tablet.|
|1700 BC||Body hygiene||Palatial bathrooms with water supplied through terra cotta pipes are built in Knossos, Crete.||Greece|
|1600 BC–1550 BC||Publication||The Ebers papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical compendium, describes the practice of combining oils with alkaline salts to form a soap-like material for treating skin diseases and for washing. The papyrus indicates that the ancient Egyptians bathed regularly. Egyptian documents also mention a soap-like substance was used in the preparation of wool for weaving.||Egypt|
|753 BC–476 AD||Body hygiene||Regular bathing is a distinctive feature of the Roman civilization.||Italy|
|600 BC||Body hygiene||The Phoenicians prepare soap from goat’s tallow and wood ashes.|
|556–539 BC||Body hygiene||In the reign of Nabonidus, a recipe for soap consists of uhulu ashes, cypress oil and sesame seed oil "for washing the stones for the servant girls".|
|500 BC||Body hygiene||Gentlemanly etiquette in China requires hand washing five times a day, hair washing every third day and a hot bath every fifth day.||China|
|460 BC – 377 BC||“Hygiene” becomes known as the branch of medicine dedicated to the "art of health," (as distinct from therapeutics, the treatment of disease).||Greece|
|460 – 377 BC||Greek physician Hippocrates conceives hygiene as “an influence of atmosphere, soil, and water on human health”.||Greece|
|312 BC||Body hygiene||In Rome, perfumed oils are used for bathing. Pumice and ashes are also rubbed over wet skin.||Italy|
|47 AD||Dental hygiene||Roman physician Scribonius Largus describes three different "toothpowder” mixtures, one containing vinegar, honey and salt; another with radish and finely ground glass; and a third using ground deer antler, a rare aromatic gum and rock salt.|
|100 – 200 AD||Body hygiene||Greek physician Galen recommends soap for cleaning and medicinal purposes.|
|200 BC–450 AD||Several Hindu texts, such as the Manusmriti and the Vishnu Purana, describe elaborate codes of hygiene. Bathing is one of the five Nitya karmas (daily duties) in Hinduism, and not performing it leads to sin, according to some scriptures.||India|
|300 – 500 SD||Body hygiene||Indian women use a turmeric cream with antiseptic properties as an alternative to soap.||India|
|500 – 600 AD||Body hygiene||Japanese Buddhism teaches that bathing purifies the body of sin and also brings luck.||Japan|
|600 – 700 AD||Body hygiene||The "Turkish Bath" or Hammam becomes a major feature of Islamic culture. The Quran requires cleanliness as an important part of Muslim faith: face, hand, forearm and feet washing before prayer, and whole body bathing after sex.|
|600 – 700 AD||Body hygiene||Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Italy, Spain and France are the early centres of soapmaking, using vegetable and animal oils combined with ashes and fragrance.|
|1000–1200 AD||Body hygiene||Bathing is essential to the Western European upper class. "The Cluniac monasteries to which they resorted or retired were always provided with bathhouses, and even the monks were required to take full immersion baths twice a year, at the two Christian festivals of renewal, though exhorted not to uncover themselves from under their bathing sheets."||Europe|
|1100s||Body hygiene||Soap is highly taxed in England. It is considered a luxury item and is not widely used.||United Kingdom|
|1240||Publication||English physician Gilbertus Anglicus publishes his Compendium Medicinae, which contains descriptions of hygiene and the care of one's appearance.|
|1400s||Dental hygiene||The first precursor of the modern toothbrush is thought to come from China or Egypt in this century. It has a bamboo or bone handle and bristles from the back of the neck of the wild boar, or from horsehair. This design would spread to Europe.|
|1500s – 1600s||Body hygiene||“Dry cleaning”, the rubbing action of linen underclothing replaced bathing, is adopted in England. Underclothing is aired or laundered.|
|1600s – 1700s||Body hygiene||Puritans in the United States prioritize cleanliness, with Sunday washing linked to spiritual cleansing. Cleanliness become linked to respectability and moral virtue.||United States|
|1710||Body hygiene||The earliest reference to the bidet appears in Italy.||Italy|
|1791||Body hygiene||French chemist Nicolas Leblanc patents the process for making soda ash, a major component of soap, from table salt.|
|1800||Hair care||Early colonial traders in India discover hair and body massage, called shampoo, and introduce “champing” to Europe.||India|
|1815||Dental hygiene||American dentist Dr. Levi Spear Parmly introduces the idea of using waxed silken thread as floss. Later in his career, Parmly would publish A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth, emphasizing the importance of brushing and flossing daily.||United States|
|1823||Body hygiene||French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul reveals the chemical process of soap by showing how boiling fat with an alkali salt splits the fat molecule into the alkali salt of fatty acid (soap) and glycerol.|
|1824||Dental hygiene||Dr Peabody, a dentist, introduces a soap-containing toothpaste.|
|1844||Dental hygiene||The first 3-row brush is designed.|
|1853||Body hygiene||English soap tax is abolished. Soap becomes widely used and is described by German chemist Justus von Liebig as an accurate measure of a country’s wealth and civilization.|
|1857||Anal cleansing||Toilet paper comes on sale in the United States, at first being sold in sheets.||United States|
|1874||Dental hygiene||The first patent for dental floss is granted to Asahel M. Shurtleff for what is described as "an improved pocket thread carrier and cutter" that resembles modern floss packages.|
|1880s||Dental hygiene||Toothpaste is mass produced in jars in the United States, based on Dr Sheffield’s "Crème Dentifrice” invention of 1850.|
|1882||Dental hygiene||Mass production of unwaxed silk floss begins in the United States.|
|1888||Body hygiene||The first cosmetic deodorant, a paste made from zinc chloride and wax, is patented under the name ‘Mum’.|
|1890||Anal cleansing||Toilet paper is first sold in rolls in the United States.||United States|
|1890s||Body hygiene||Aluminium chloride is added to deodorants to reduce sweating.|
|1890s||Dental hygiene||Toothpaste was sold in collapsible tubes.|
|1898||Dental hygiene||The first dental floss patent is awarded in the United States.||United States|
|1898||Hair care||German chemist Hans Schwarzkopf in BErlin opens a drugstore dedicated to perfume and focuses his efforts on products for the hair. His popular water-soluble, powder shampoo still causes dulling, alkaline reactions.||Germany|
|1914||Hair care||British hair stylist Kasey Hebert in London invents the first commercial shampoo.||United Kingdom|
|1927||Hair care||Hans Schwarzkopf introduces one of the world’s premiere liquid shampoos.||Germany|
|1928||Anal cleansing||Toilet paper is first sold in rolls in Europe.||Europe|
|1930||Hair care||Shampoo as we know it today (with synthetic surfactants) is first introduced.|
|1939||Dental hygiene||The first electric toothbrush is developed in Switzerland.||Switzerland|
|1940s||Dental hygiene||Dr. Charles C. Bass creates a more shred-resistant nylon floss as a substitute for silk floss, thus promoting teeth flossing as an important part of oral hygiene.|
|1942||Anal cleansing||Soft toilet paper comes on sale.|
|1945||Dental hygiene||Soap is replaced by other ingredients in the making of toothpaste, following the invention of synthetic detergents, making toothpastes smoother.|
|1950s||Manufacturers start introducing aerosol technology.|
|1952||The first roll-on deodorant, based on the design of the ballpoint pen, is marketed in the United States.||United States|
|1965||Body hygiene||The first anti-perspirant aerosol is launched to the market.|
|1975–1980||Sleep hygiene is developed as a recommended behavioral and environmental practice intended to promote better quality sleep. This recommendation is thought as a method to help people with mild to moderate insomnia. However, as of 2014, the evidence for effectiveness of individual recommendations is "limited and inconclusive".|
|1980||Anal cleansing||Japanese electric toilet Washlet, with water spray feature for genital and anal cleansing, is released to the market.||Japan|
|1980s||Dental hygiene||The interdental brush is invented as an alternative to flossing.|
|1985–1990||Hand hygiene||Automatic faucets are introduced for commercial use.|
|1989||British epidemiologist David P. Strachan develops the hygiene hypothesis, which states that there is an inverse relationship between family size and development of atopic allergic disorders – the more children in a family, the less likely they are to develop these allergies.|
|1990||Publication||The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) starts producing regular estimates of national, regional and global progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).|
|1996||Body hygiene||About 141 million people visit Japan’s 15,700 hot-spring inns during the year (out of a Japanese population of 125 million).||Japan|
|2000||Statistics||1229 million people worldwide practice open defecation.|
|2008||Hand hygiene||The Global Handwashing Day is initiated by the Public Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) in August 2008 at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm.||Sweden|
|2009||Hand hygiene||The World Health Organization launches its New global Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care, developed with assistance from more than 100 renowned international experts. Also tested and given trials in different parts of the world.|
|2015||Statistics||892 million people practice open defecation.|
|2015||Statistics||Study of handwashing in 54 countries finds that on average, 38.7% of households practice handwashing with soap.|
|2016||Anal cleansing||Bidet toilets are installed in 81.2% of Japanese households.||Japan|
Meta information on the timeline
How the timeline was built
The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.
Funding information for this timeline is available.
What the timeline is still missing
It might be worth adding a row about Ignaz Semmelweis who championed handwashing.
Timeline update strategy
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