Home Life – Health – in the 1920s and 30s

You cleaned your teeth with salt. If you were going somewhere special you'd put a bit of soot in, to make the teeth sparkle.

Neighbours were more friendly in those days. If you were ill or having a baby they’d come in. You had to pay the District Nurse in those days – about 10p in today’s money. You had to engage her. She came to see you for ten days, and you had to spend nine days in bed. Of course deliveries happened at home in those days.

When you had trouble with your teeth, you tried home remedies first, because dentists were expensive. I’ve heard that some people attached string to them and tied the other end of the string to the door and then slammed the door. That sometimes worked.

You cleaned your teeth with salt. If you were going somewhere special you’d put a bit of soot in the salt. Your teeth used to sparkle.

Otherwise we’d go to the herbalist. I remember my aunt sending me for some ‘hecky-pecky’ wine. The herbalist knew exactly what I wanted. Ipecacuanta! We had that when we had a cough.

We used to chew Spanish stick, for the liquorice taste. I still like it. It’s good for your bowels.

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