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Title: The development of hygiene and laundry in Malta
Authors: Zarb Dimech, Anthony
Keywords: Roman provinces -- Malta -- History
Public architecture -- Classical influences
Archaeology, Medieval -- Malta
Aqueducts -- Malta -- History
Urban sanitation -- Malta -- History
Public laundries -- Malta
Laundry industry -- Malta -- History
Military hygiene
Cleaning compounds industry -- Malta -- History
Electric household appliances industry -- Malta -- History
Women employees -- Malta -- Social conditions
Order of St John -- Malta -- History
Knights of Malta -- Malta -- History
Malta -- History -- To 870
Malta -- History -- 870-1530
Malta -- History -- Knights of Malta, 1530-1798
Ghajn tal-Hasselin (Msida, Malta)
Ghajn tal-Hasselin (Dingli, Malta)
Ghajn Hamiem (Mdina, Malta)
Issue Date: 2016-11-09
Publisher: Standard Publications Ltd.
Citation: Zarb Dimech, A. (2016, November 9). The development of hygiene and laundry in Malta. The Malta Independent, pp. 42-43.
Abstract: As part of the lifestyle and culture section, this article maps the evolution of the laundry industry within Malta. It starts with the introduction of ‘Fulleries’ by the Romans : within Maltese archaeology however, initially taking a form that resembled more of a ‘public bath’ rather than a ‘public wash house’. Here, Dimech paints a picture of Medieval Maltese life with its limited and inaccessible water mills, rules among classes, all causing overall unhygienic dwellings and living conditions. A change is pushed forward with the the Order of Saint John when ‘public wash houses’ are reestablished into society, this time with better construction and carefully considered engineering, i.e: introduction of Aqueducts, irrigation and drainage systems, etc. Dimech describes the localities in which these facilities were built, what remains today, how they operated and the social and economical impact they had on the local community (i.e: creating new social spaces, creating new employment opportunities for women as laundresses). The article also briefs us on the evolution of the soap and detergent industry – from 7th century Arab traders to 15-16th century Europe establishing it as a specialized craft to create an industry of its own. The final sections refer to the cleaning services leading up to World War 1. The importation of laundry and dry cleaning machinery to provide regulated services for the British Forces. A service that eventually expanded into the hotel and later domestic sectors with the country’s Independence.
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCWHMlt

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