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Preaching Cleanliness and Peddling Purity

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004078/00001

Material Information

Title: Preaching Cleanliness and Peddling Purity The Sacred and Secular of Soap
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Dohn, Charles Harris
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2009
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Cleanliness
Purity
Soap
Advertisements
Sacred
Secular
Mission, Cleanliness Institute
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: My thesis examines the cultural history of cleanliness within U.S. business efforts at home and American missionary efforts abroad to argue that religion can be about the mundane, and the secular can be about the transcendent. Scholars have often defined the sacred and the profane, and religion and the secular in opposition to each other. Soap, a modern economic commodity full of social, scientific, and religious meaning, blurs many distinctions between sacred religions and profane secular institutions in ritual practice to the point that they are nearly indistinguishable. I hope to show through two case studies that cleanliness "scrambles" the sacred and the profane, and the religious and the secular. The first case is the Cleanliness Institute, a soap marketing institute in New York, 1927-1932. The second case is a Brethren of Christ American Protestant mission in Rhodesia, Africa 1898-1914. Both of these organizations unleashed campaigns that differed in ultimate motivation, but both set out to spread the philanthropic gospel of modern cleanliness and soap.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles Harris Dohn
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2009
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Seales, Chad

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2009 D6
System ID: NCFE004078:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004078/00001

Material Information

Title: Preaching Cleanliness and Peddling Purity The Sacred and Secular of Soap
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Dohn, Charles Harris
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2009
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Cleanliness
Purity
Soap
Advertisements
Sacred
Secular
Mission, Cleanliness Institute
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: My thesis examines the cultural history of cleanliness within U.S. business efforts at home and American missionary efforts abroad to argue that religion can be about the mundane, and the secular can be about the transcendent. Scholars have often defined the sacred and the profane, and religion and the secular in opposition to each other. Soap, a modern economic commodity full of social, scientific, and religious meaning, blurs many distinctions between sacred religions and profane secular institutions in ritual practice to the point that they are nearly indistinguishable. I hope to show through two case studies that cleanliness "scrambles" the sacred and the profane, and the religious and the secular. The first case is the Cleanliness Institute, a soap marketing institute in New York, 1927-1932. The second case is a Brethren of Christ American Protestant mission in Rhodesia, Africa 1898-1914. Both of these organizations unleashed campaigns that differed in ultimate motivation, but both set out to spread the philanthropic gospel of modern cleanliness and soap.
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles Harris Dohn
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2009
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Seales, Chad

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2009 D6
System ID: NCFE004078:00001


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PREACHING CLEANLINESS AND PEDDLING PURITY: THE SACRED AND SECULAR OF SOAP BY CHARLES HARRIS DOHN A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Chad Seales Sarasota, Florida May, 2009

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Table of Contents List of Illustrations iii Abstract iv Introduction -1 Chapter 1: Peddling Purity 4 Chapter 2: Preaching Cleanliness 26 Chapter 3: The Sacred and Secu lar of Soap 44 Conclusion 57 Appendix I 61 Appendix II 67 Appendix III 70 Bibliography 74 Dedicated to my sister. ii

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS The Cleanliness Crusade 6 A Tale of Soap and Water and Progress of the Bath 8 Policing the Mouth and Shake Hands OFTEN With Soap 15 Brethren In Christ missionaries and native children 29 Brethren In Christ missiona ries training native childre n how to wash 33 African boys building Western st yle house at mission 38 iii

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iv PREACHING CLEANLINESS AND PEDDLING PURITY Charles Harris Dohn New College of Florida, 2009 ABSTRACT My thesis examines the cultural history of clean liness within U.S. business efforts at home and American missionary efforts abroad to argue that religion can be about the mundane, and the secular can be about the transcendent. Scholars have often defined the sacred and the profane, and religion and the secular in opposition to each other. Soap, a modern economic commodity full of social, scientific, and religious meaning, blurs many distinctions between sacred religi ons and profane secular institutions in ritual practice to the point that they are nearly indistinguishable. I hope to show through two ca se studies that cleanliness scrambles the sacred and the profan e, and the religious and the secular. The first case is the Cleanliness Institute, a soap marketing institute in New York, 1927 -1932. The second case is a Brethren of Christ American Protestant mission in Rhodesia, Africa 1898-1914. Both of these organizations unleashed campaigns that differed in ultimate motivation, but both set out to spread the philanthropic gospel of modern cleanliness and soap. Chad Seales Division of Humanities

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Introduction: Cleanliness is next to Godliness On Thanksgiving in 1850, the rector and reverend of the three years young Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, Canada, Henry Scudding, gave a sermon titled Cleanliness Akin to Godliness. Ou t of sympathy and consternation for recent epidemics of yellow fever, cholera, and infl uenza the sermon is based on Amos Chapter 3, verse 6.1 This verse explains misfortune a nd calamity as consequences of Gods actions. Rev. Scudding infused the mundane ha bits and responsibil ities of cleanliness with religion and spiritual significance by preaching that epidemics are Gods doing: Such a thing as a truly religious man living voluntarily in filthy habits, in a filthy house, cannot be imagined; and in reality could not be. When, then, we have once secured neatness, cleanliness, wholesomene ss, and order, in houses, we have done something towards securing the further and nearly-allied blessings of religion and religious influences and habits there; we have done something towards the introduction of true happiness and conten t to the families and firesides of many, who now, immersed in squalor and misery, are almost ignorant of and utterly indifferent to, the concerns of their souls and of eternity.2 Rev. Scudding connects the cleanliness, wholesom eness, and order in houses with the true happiness and contentment of souls a nd eternity. In this way, he blurs the boundaries of sacred and profane life by exte nding the religious ex ercise of ritual purification from the house of God to the homes of believers. Scholars have often defined the sacr ed and the profane, and religion and the secular in oppositi on to each other.3 I hope to show through two case studies, however, that cleanliness scrambles the sacred and the profane, the religious and the secular.4 1 "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? The Holy Bible King James Version. Oxford University Press, London. Amos iii, 6. P. 851. 2 Scadding, Henry. Cleanliness Akin to Godliness. Toronto, 1850. 3 Eliade, Mircea. The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., New York: 1959; Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life The Free Press, New York: 1965. 4 McDannell, Colleen. Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America Yale University Press, New Haven: 1995. P. 4 1

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These complicated and interactiv e categories are blurred in ritual practice to the point that they are nearly indistinguishable.5 Soap is a modern eco nomic commodity full of social, scientific, and religious meaning that washes away the distinctions between sacred rituals and profane practices. This thesis examines the cultural history of cleanliness within U.S. business efforts at home and American missionary effo rts abroad to argue that religion can be about the mundane, and the secular can be about the transcendent. The first case is the Cleanliness Institute (CI), a short-lived soap marketing institute in New York, 1927-1932. The second case is about Brethr en of Christ missionaries ( BC), an American Protestants in Rhodesia, Africa 1898-1914. I will compare and contrast these two organizations that shared the goal of transforming the cleanline ss rituals practiced by their target audience, whether American consumers or African native s. The Cleanliness Institute of America is an ideal example of for-profit marketing, capitalism, econom y, and the secular.6 The Brethren of Christs mission in Africa is an ideal example of Christian proselytizing aiming to save souls and inspire faith. In the early 20th century both of these organizations unleashed campaigns that differed in ultimate motivation but both set out to spread the gospel of modern cleanliness and soap. The specific examples of CI and BC do not fit neatly and exclusivel y into the ideal dichotomies of secular and religious. In the first two chapters, I provide hi storical explications based on primary sources printed by CI and one prolific Br ethren missionary Hannah Davidson. In the third chapter, I reflect on what a comparat ive study of these cases can offer to the academic study of religion. In pa rticular, I engage the theoreti cal perspectives of Colleen McDannell, who examines the material aspect s of Christianity, and Mary Douglas, who examines the socio-religious significance of purity beliefs and rituals. In some ways CI 5 McDannell, P. 8.; Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concept of Pollution and Taboo New York: Routledge, 2002. Originally published in 1966 by Routledge & Kegan Paul. 6 Olson, Carl. Theory and Method in the Study of Religion: A Selection of Critical Readings Thomson Wadsworth, Toronto: 2003. P. 211. 2

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behaved like a religion. While marketers of soap were motivated by profit, they drew on religious metaphors and ritual practices to sell their products. They sought and succeeded to shape social beliefs, rituals, and consump tion. In contrast, missionaries, as illustrated by BC, worked to save souls, not to sell so ap. But their soteriological prescriptions included requirements of both spiritual and bodily purity. Thus, saving souls required purchasing and using soap. Though divided by motivation, both peddler and preacher demonstrated comparable techniques of pers uasion and promoted similar rituals of cleanliness. There is enough overlap in the prescriptive practices of the Cleanliness Institute and the Brethren of Christ to rebuff interpretive misconceptions about the theoretical divide between s acred and the secular, yet e nough variation between the two to avoid emulsifying or conflati ng those categories. The goal of the thesis is to establish that both CI, a secular institution, and BC, a religious institution, blur the boundaries between the sacred and the profane, even as they define their work in opposition to the other, whether religious to secular or secula r to religious, and opera te within those selfdefined spheres. 3

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Chapter 1: Peddling Purity The Cleanliness Institute, New York, 1927-1932 Purity is a deeply ingrained social unde rstanding that touches on a wide variety of responsibilities and actions.7 The history of cleanliness in the U.S. was drastically transformed from the 1800s to the 1920s. Th e gruesome realities of war and epidemics pressured urban infrastructure to change. Industries boomed, changing the way products were made and the way business was done in the U.S. Periodicals and the media expanded the scope of advertising as compan ies competed for consumers in the growing marketplace. Individual organizations within specific industries, such as Unilever or Procter & Gamble of the soap industry, ba nded together forming trade associations aiming to persuade people to embrace and buy their products in gene ral, rather than advertising specific brand loyalties. 8 The Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producers (AASGP) was the trade association with the goal of establishing frequent soap using ri tuals of cleanliness in as many people as possible: To Increase Cleanliness, and therefore the use of soap, is the aim of this part of the Associations work. If the man in the street can be given a better understanding of the connection betw een personal progress and personal cleanliness; if the wife and mother more keenly appreciates the effect of clean home surroundings on clean character; if th e child in school can develop habits of cleanliness; if the manufacturer sees more profit in cleaner working conditions-America will adopt the standards which the most progressive leader champions.9 Here in a sort of charter, th e association recognizes it must connect the abstract ideas of progress, character, and American-ness with the physical commodity soap. 7 Douglas, 2002. 8 See Appendix I. 9 Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producer s Incorporated. Soap and Glycerine Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producer s Inc., New York: 1928. Pamphlet. 4

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The AASGP, an association whose member s produced 80% of the soap consumed in America at that time, created the Cleanlin ess Institute in the summer of 1927 amid a cosmetics boom that was siphoni ng off soap industry profits.10 Soap needed new arguments in order to reach out and convin ce people to buy and use it. The Cleanliness Institute was a very successful venture in this respect. Its legacy lives on today. In 2003 three of the members of the CI era AASGP, Unilever, Colgate, and Procter & Gamble, are todays top three soap producers, taking up 40% of the multi-billion dollar soap market in the U.S., making $24 billion in 2003.11 As an appendage of standard profit seek ing U.S.A. companies, CIs goal was to sell soap. CI used a lot of arguments to convince consumers that soap was the best, the most modern, the most advantageous, efficien t, and reliable way of staying clean and pure. For a historical mome nt, the Cleanliness Institute beca me a center of learning: of learning the need for more soap consumption in America.12 Through different marketing and promotional strategies CI s ought to influence American preferences and habits about cleanliness in order to sell more soap. In this chap ter, I argue that in order to sell soap and make profits, (1) CI used religion as a marketing strategy, (2) CI worked to infuse a modern commodity with virtue, ethics, social mores, and morals, and (3) CI worked to change the purity belief s and rituals of pe ople in the U.S. CI gives the ritual of soap-and-water washing remarkable significance, attempting to persuade people to want to use soap. Marketing soap is deeply mixed with popular culture because purity and dirt are crucial social underpinni ngs. In order to popularize this new form of purity ritual, which depends on consuming new commodities and building new infrastructure, CI strove to in fuse the issue with wide ranging significance 10 Vinikas, Vincent. Soft Soap, Hard Sell: American Hygiene in an Age of Advertisement Iowa State University Press, Ames: 1992. P. 84. 11 Tollington, Peter. How soap can avoid the slippery slope. 2004, http://www.allbusiness.com/manufacturing/food-ma nufacturing-grain-oilseed-milling/334994-1.html. accessed 14 March 2009. 12 Vinikas. P. 79. 5

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and application. Their goal was to increase and secure soap sales by bolstering the importance of washing and cleanliness in U.S. society. The actions of this short lived institute resemble a sweeping social movement. Ethics, mo rals, and practical realities were injected into the capitalist endeavor. CI commodified virtues to alter the purity rituals of Americans for the be nefit of the secular soap indus try. The marketing blitz that ensued was very successful. CI made it cl ear that civilization, purity, progress, and profits were at stake. Cultural conceptions of dirt, cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation were transformed on a wide scale. This in stitute and its campai gn express a religious ethic and missionizing impulse. The crusade, as Procter & Gamble, members of the AASGP and CI, were not afraid to call it, was tinkering with ba sic purity and pollution beliefs, beliefs that are cruc ial and fundamental in orderi ng society by popularizing soap across the U.S.13 Procter & Gamble ad in Journal of National E ducation, Nov. 1926 Take Roscoe C. Edlund, for example, one of the top editors, writers, and speakers of CI. He was an officer of the AASGP, the assistant secretary. He was also the 13 The Cleanliness Crusade. Procter & Gamble. Journal of National Education Nov. 1926. 6

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associations manager.14 His work is found in CIs j ournal, ad copy, and radio spots. This leading mind of the AASGP and CI openly admitted that his organizations frenzy of publications was not merely advertising. Here is an explicit recognition of CIs effort to infuse the concrete object of soap with abstract moral meaning: In breadth of appeal, in the fact that it is aimed at the building of character and habit, as well as in its cooperative asp ects, this campaign is unique. It is not institutional, yet it represents an i ndustry. It is sponsored by a cooperative manufacturing group, yet it does not sell a product. The a dvertising sells a virtue, an idea, a habit, an attitude. It brings before millions of eyes that might never see the publications of Cleanlin ess Institute, the importan ce of high standards of cleanliness.15 Edlund explicitly states that CIs advertisers should sell a virtue, an idea, a habit, an attitude. These are qualities and characteristic s that could as easily describe religious practice as it does secular marketing. CIs outreach could have been viewed as advertising, but because cleanliness was addresse d in tone and topic as a sort of public service announcement, the aim of soap sales was left heavily disguised. The new strategy of trade associations placed individual brands of soap in the background and broader industry concerns in the foreground. Eschewing brand loyalties, CI made its copy more sophisticated and st rategically psychological. Consumers weren't being bombarded with messages that merely implored everybody to buy more soap. Instead of explicitly selling soap, they sold cl eanliness and its benefits, or the dangers of dirt. CI defined cleanliness as soap-and-wate r purity, and made it a priority that everyone knows scrubbing with hot water and soapy lather is the best way to get clean. CI published countless pages of books, advertis ements, pamphlets, textbooks, scientific studies, journals, posters, and radio spots: The total circulation reached is 18,365,571; 14 Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producer s Incorporated. Soap and Glycerine Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producer s Inc., New York: 1928. Pamphlet. 15 "Reaching 18,000,000 with Newe r Standards of Cleanliness." The Cleanliness Journal (CJ) Vol. 2, No. 4. (July 1929). The Cleanliness Institute, New York. P. 5. 7

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the total printings in 1929 number 187,788,629.16 ; [CI on radio] has spread to 331 stations, located in 47 states and in Alaska and Hawaii.17 CI inundated the public with an understanding of dirt and purity to suit soap use. The arguments and print texts used by CI cover a lot of different strategic approaches. CIs methods for promoting soap to kids are unique from those aimed at adults, and deserve specific a ttention. In their philanthropic marketing efforts, CI targeted public schools and broader education venues. As an attempt to indoctrinate society and form soap using habits of cl eanliness, the messages spread by CI were contextualized as educational. The materials did in fact include knowledge, teaching about subjects like history, contemporary sc ientific findings, and foreign cultures. An example of a history lesson, Roman arch itecture and city planning at its best and cleanest, can be found in A Tale of Soap and Water a book for seventh to ninth graders: Large public baths were first built in Rome when n 52 A.D., the Emperor Claudius brought water to Ro me from Prneste, about 45 miles away. It ran for 36 miles underground and was carried for 9 1/2 miles on arches. Later on no less than 68 aqueducts were built by the Romans in Italy and the provinces.18 16 Edlund. "Reaching 18,000,000 with Newer Standards of Cleanliness" CJ. Vol. 2, No. 4. (July 1929) P. 5. 17 "Broadcasting Cleanliness" CJ Vol. 4, No. 3. (April 1931) P. 10. 18 Hallock, Grace T. A Tale of Soap and Water: The Historical Progress of Cleanliness Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1928. p. 36-7 8

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CI used a lot of factual hist orical narrative in its storybooks CI traced the history of cleanliness through the ancient and recent past highlighting noteworthy advancements all the way up to soap. In a similar effort, CI demonstrates germ theory and contagious disease in a way that younger children could easily grasp. This example can be found in a book illustrated simply with brus h strokes and stick figures called The Strange Case of Mr. Smith: An Amusing Story of a Cold Murder One of the characters asks, Do you mean that just plain water would have disi nfected my hands? And another character responds, No, but soap and water wash germs away.19 And as for interesting anecdotes from children in foreign lands, After the Rain: Cleanliness Customs of Children in Many Lands takes readers to Holland, Afri ca (Nile River), France, Japan, Italy, England, Finland, and Poland.20 CI used words and drawi ngs of foreign cultures to emphasize cleanliness as a world-wide moral. While these lessons were not merely superficial masks hiding profit motives, th e linking of education and marketing was intentional. Schools make a good target because sc hool-aged children would presumably maintain the habits of cleanliness for the rest of their lives, maintaining demand for soap for years and generations to come. Schools also are hot-beds of disease communication. With so many people coming and going ever y day in such close quarters and even sharing a meal together, it was easy to convin ce teachers, parents, and administrators that a cleanliness curriculum was a good use of time. One of the first aspects of this approach was the publishing of a scientific study of handwashing in American schools. The me thods and results of CIs 1928 investigation were published by CIs School Service in 1931 in a 20 page pamphlet titled 19 Goldsmith, Happy. The Strange Case of Mr. Smith: An Amusing Story of a Cold Murder Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1930. Chapter VII. 20 Hallock, Grace T. After the Rain: Cleanliness Customs of Children in Many Lands School Dept. Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1927. 9

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Handwashing in Schools.21 CI sought to establis h as normative the practice of handwashing with soap before eating meals a nd after using the toilet The study revealed that just one of the 145 schools queried lived up to this benchmark, leaving a vast majority of the 124 thousand canvassed students beyond CIs recommendations.22 This study served as a scientific sanction for the advancement of cleanliness. The results showed how the lack of concern over handwas hing and proper facili ties endangered the health of kids across the country. CI also explained how to easily and effectively avoid these dangers with soap. Parents, teachers, principals, and occasiona lly students agreed that cleaner habits of hygiene were valuable life lessons. W ith this support CI ro lled out its cleanliness curriculum, sold at the cost of production to interested schools, principals, teachers, and other educational administrato rs across the country. CI developed texts, lesson plans, activities, and worksheets specific to elementary school ages and grades: The regimen was unrelenting. The institute promulgated schedules of habit formation for each grade level, providing a cleanliness curriculum that could be integrated with other subjects, a system of carrots-and-sticks to enforce behaviors. It delineated motor, attitudinal, a nd cognitive objectives for every stage of a child's education. 23 CI reported enthusiastic responses by t eachers and students. By the time students finished schooling they were ideal soap user s. The breadth and depth of these programs was well planned and effective. After year s and years of rituals and indoctrination, students' fundamental understanding of cultura l habits of hygiene had been transformed from simple rural homeliness to modern precur sors of spic-n-span, ne arly irreconcilable perspectives. Through their marketing efforts, CI effectively transfor med purity rituals in 21 Handwashing in Schools. School Service, Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1928. Pamphlet. 22 Vinikas. Soft Soap, Hard Sell P. 86. 23 Vinikas 1992, p. 87. 10

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homes, schools, and consumptive spaces, while reshaping cultural attitudes towards cleanliness. Paired with the zeal of teachers and pa rents, storybooks for children were a big part of CIs efforts in schools. I have already included quotations from Before the Rain a book geared toward second graders that hoppe d around the globe showing local children helping their parents, going to school, and keeping clean; and from A Tale of Soap and Water, a book written for older students that traced cleanliness beliefs and hygiene practices starting at the Biblic al Garden of Eden and spanning all the way to modern U.S.A. cities. It is worthwhile to take a closer look at another example of this storybook genre. Judd Family: A Story of Clea nliness in Three Centuries was sold for use with sixth and seventh graders.24 Not so much a textbook as a non-fictive tale, it is hard to believe that this book was published by a for-profit company like the American Association of Soap and Glycerin Producers. It is a historical novel for kids. The story follows the Judd family across three centurie s and several generations. It is a lighthearted and romantic romp through living in Am erica from settler times all the way to the modern advancements of New York City in the 1930s. The Judd Family describes the methods and habits of 1700s household life in a fun and endearing way that must have seemed adventurous and exciting to schoolchildren in the 1930s, despite the obvious emphasis on hard-labor. A centr al motif of this story is how techniques of cleanliness have evolved over time, from simple to sophisticated and primitive to civilized. At the beginning of th e tale we hear a lot about Grammaw Judd's skill at boiling soft soap from lye and bear gr ease. While the product of this process is reserved for more sporadic uses than mode rn soap, it is still haile d for its necessity. Getting to know the Judds involves getting to know their impeccable duty to cleanliness standards. The tale details how cleanlin ess rituals have prog ressed and expanded from 24 Hopkins, Mary Alden and Alice Mary Kimball. Judd Family: A Story of Cleanliness in Three Centuries. Illustrated by Warren Chappell. School Service, Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1931. 11

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just post-work and pre-meal scrubbings with water to frequent soapy baths and showers; from cleaning the dinner table and dishes by scouring and rinsing with boiling water to electric dishwashing machines in high-rise ap artment complexes. The tale drapes these episodes in warm nostalgia for the past th at invokes a reverent tone for modern advancements. The second of three chapters discusses how the Judds in th e 19th century jumpstarted more modern modes of producti on by building a large scale mottled soap manufactory. The Judds' plan was not large by all scales, but the story explicitly stated how clean and productive individuals led to modern advancements in industry. They ushered in the beginnings of more specialized divisions of labor in a manufactory setting: [Mr. Judd] was about to begin in a small way the manufacture of hard soap. This had come about very naturally. Mr. Judd, who was a forward-looking man, had seen that it was a waste of labor for each woman to make her own soap. The conservative neighbors said that the J udds were throwing away their money on new-fangled ideas. They said that what was good enough for their fathers was good enough for them, and they laughed wh en the Judd men said that the day would come when spinning and weaving and shoe-making would be done in factories instead of in separate homes.25 As seen in this quote, the storybooks set up an evolutionarily progressive perspective of purity rituals, from dirty savages to modern and moral soap and water. These formational tales rely on a distinct historical narrative that is evolutionary in scope. And they instill in the reader a sense of overcoming past cultural struggles in order to break through to the modern period industrial technology, a period filled with labor saving advancements. CIs technique here is to distinguish dirt as vice from cleanlin ess and virtue. Dirt then is associated with the primitive, while cleanliness is associated with the modern. The tale then is not just about functional hygiene. It also is a moral tale of virtuous habits and right living. These approaches were educational, practical and effective at converting the purity rituals and beli efs of school-aged children. 25 Ibid. p. 51-2 12

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When it came to adults, CI used more sophisticated examples, but the goal remained the same: to convince consumers to buy and use more soap. Soap use was reinforced as a commodity that enhanced and ensured morality and progress in society in many different ways and through many different mediums. CI produced and published a quarterly journal called The Cleanliness Journal ( CJ ) for adults. The journal is genuinely ingenious. To consider it merely an advertisement would be reckless. It was about 16 pages of short articles published every few months from fall 1927 to spring 1932. Commentary on the who, what, where, whe n, why, and how of cleanliness is peppered with humorous anecdotes, jokes, and short sn ippets from other periodicals, historical figures, and foreign lands. CI showcases its own efforts as it chronicles the inevitable ascendance of modern cleanline ss within U.S. society. During CI's short existence the journal showed the progress, participation, and common support for cleanliness from all over the country and the world. Many of the articles are written by CI staff and left unsigned. Every issue starts with a disclaimer on the inside cover abandoning any property or intellectual ri ghts, loosing freedom of dissemination, reproduction, and citation to any and all. The journal argues for soap and water cl eanliness very persuasively from many angles. The journal makes the message of CI viable from many perspectives. The message is to improve the cleanness, and thus the quality of life, through using soap. One recurring topic is work. CJ was published at the onset of the Great Depression. In a time so difficult to get a job CJ clamored that cleanliness could be the difference between getting hired or fired. This simple advice was reiterated in recurring pieces with names like, "At a Time When Jobs Are Scarce It Is Doubly Necessary to Keep Up A Clean Front," ; "A Clean Shirt Helps Jimmie to Ge t His Job."; and "Help Wanted: Employment Managers Tell Why It Pays to Clean Up Before Applying for a Job."26 26 Josephine Nelson. CJ Vol. 4, No. 2. (Feb. 1931) P. 3; CJ Vol. 4, No. 4. (June 1931) P. 11; Beryl Dill Kneen. CJ Vol. 3, No. 1. (Oct. 1929) P. 7. 13

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CI promised that cleanliness could bring the greatest of s ecular advancements, freedom from poverty. CI claimed soap could practically scrub the poor right off of your body and out of your character: It is the policy of many we lfare organizations to withhol d assistance from the man who refuses to bathe and clean up. A lthough cleanliness by coercion may seem of doubtful value, social workers claim th at enforced soap and water treatments have been known to shock even the prof essional "panhandler" into self-respect and a new attitude toward life.27 In this example social workers are described like missionaries of m odern cleanliness that could convert unbelievers by bringing the clean sing experience to them by force. Being able to make a living and support at least onese lf and perhaps a family is a vital concern. The conversion is not just from dirty to clean, but also from failure to su ccess at life. Health was one of CJs relentless talk ing points and one of its most forceful arguments. In a time where many died of communicable diseases like smallpox, typhoid, and tuberculosis, handwashing really could lessen the impact of illness in crowded cities. Policing the Mouth was a phras e CI used liberally to warn of the risks of germs and educate people how to prevent transmission. Th is slogan was used in articles, pamphlets, books, lectures, series of slides, and posters Armed with volleys of statistics CI assaulted sickness with soap and water: 91.49 per cent of all deaths from communicab le disease in a single year were due to the causative organisms which enter or leave the body by way of the mouth. Their proportion to the total death rate is 22.2 per cent. In the Registration Area in the continental part of the United St ates in 1925 there were 270,786 deaths due to communicable diseases of some kind.28 27 CJ Vol. 5, No. 4. (June 1932) P. 10. 28 Policing the Mouth: Practice of Personal Hygiene and Cleanliness Necessary for the Control of Communicable Diseases Which Take 270,000 Lives Ye arly. By W. W. Peter, M.D., Dr. P.H. CJ Vol. 2, No. 3. (April 1929) P. 3. 14

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Policing the Mouth Using statistics such as these, CI stirred up fear and prom ised that a liberal mix of soap and water was the best solution. CI offered c oncrete steps to follow so that individuals could take matters of morta lity into their own hands. Taking part in the soap and water ritual protects health against illness and death. It also benefited job opportuni ties by keeping an individual or family healthy and earning money. People did not make money or get hire d while they are sick, CI argued, and they are a burden on any surrounding or dependent friends and family. Many of CIs individual arguments reinforce other aspects of its overall argument, bundled together in a total-package-deal of convinc ing reasons to shake hands often with SOAP.29 Associating famous and heroic historical figures with cleanliness was a recurring theme in CJ This approach lent recognizable credibility to the cause through short pieces like, "How Florence Nightingale W on the Title Apostle of Cleanliness" ; 29 Policing the Mouth W.W. Peter, M.D., Dr. P.H. Clean liness Institute, New York: 1930. P. 41. 15

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"Dostoyevsky's Habits" ; and "[Theodore] Roosev elt Does the Laundry".30 These figures stand for prestige, innovation, and braver y. They are inspirati ons in art, service, and modern thinking. CJ included an excerpt written by U.S. founding father Thomas Jefferson implore his daughter to stay kempt in 1783.31 Another American he ro, Henry Ford, was cited giving advice to boys, "The first advice I w ould give to any boy st arting in today would be that he should learn to keep himself and everything around him clean. If he is able to do this, he is one in a thousand."32 This kind of attention to popular American figures pays homage to secular, nonreligious, heroes that espoused clean liness. Even though these figures didnt have modern soap, thei r support of general cleanliness is still valuable to CI. CIs aim was to instill acceptance of and commitment to soapy rituals and morals of cleanliness. It didnt do this to the exclus ion of existing cultural symbols and traditions, but on the backs of their cultura l viability. There is little doubt that if these figures were alive toda y that icons like Florence Nightingale would be in Band-Aid ads. Henry still occasionally ends up in Ford promos decades beyond his death. CI worked to equate soap and cleanliness in the mi nds of Americans. CI wanted to establish as fact that soap provides the most trustwor thy and most modern fo rm of cleanliness. Even though the specific ritu als had changed, past promoter s of cleanliness were still used successfully to popularize soap, which is touted as today s preferred method of cleaning. CI also used religion to promote so ap. CI took from sacred literature, philosophical query, and a dash of Sunday-School charm and used them to popularize hygienic rituals and influence greater soap sales. These appeals to the explicitly organized religions are not found all lumped in to one specific period ical or publication, 30 Ida M. Lynn. CJ Vol. 4, No. 4. (June 1931) P. 8; CJ Vol. 5, No. 1. (Oct. 1931) P. 14; CJ Vol. 4, No. 4. (June 1931) P. 12. 31 CJ Vol. 2, No. 3. (April 1929) P. 6. 32 CJ Vol. 3, No. 1. (Oct. 1929) P. 6. 16

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but scattered intermittently throughout CIs correspondence with the public. Calling Florence Nightingale an apostle for her trail-blazing work as a nurse and a life-saver is one of CIs subtler examples of this strategy. The methods and motives of advertisi ng, education, and spreading the social gospel are all intimately bound up. In the following quotation, Edlund recognizes the similarity between selling the social messa ge of cleanliness and organized religion: Addressed to masses of readers whose cl eanliness habits are susceptible to improvement, these advertisements will appeal to their normal everyday desires-for a better job, for better social posit ion, for attractiveness and popularity, the desire to "keep up with the Joneses," and to give their children the best advantages. With the attainment of thes e desires, the copy wi ll show, cleanliness is intimately bound up. Texts of some of these "cleanliness sermonettes" indicate the nature of their appeal. In emphasizing this simple, inexpensive way to work toward better appearance and soci al acceptability, this association of manufacturers is selling something bigger than soap--by selling cleanliness, these manufacturers are helping to create better standards that affect life in many ways.33 This language is provocative a nd emotionally charged. Phrases like habits susceptible to improvement, normal everyday desires, the Joneses, sermonettes, and creating better standards that affect life impart a feeling of secular salvation and fulfillment. CI did not shy away from religious themes in its campaign to make soap a household necessity. Purity beliefs, ritual s, and purity rites are common topics of religion. CI used religious examples to bol ster the ideal prominen ce of soap and water cleanliness in order to sell more soap. CI published one example of a list of ten health commandments gleaned from an English school house: Framed and hung in a school house in Ashf ord, England, are the following health commandments: 1. Thou shalt honor thy neighborhood and keep it clean 2. Remember thy cleaning day and keep it wholly. 3. Thou shalt take care of the rubbish heap else thy neighbor shall bear witness against thee. 4. Thou shalt keep in order thy alley, t hy backyard, thy hall and thy stairway. 33 CJ Vol. I, No. 4 (Feb. 1928). P. 5. 17

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5. Thou shalt not let the wicked fly breed. 6. Thou shalt not kill thy neighbor by ignor ing fire menace or by poisoning the air with rubbish. 7. Thou shalt not keep thy windows closed day or night. 8. Thou shalt covet all the air and sunshine thou canst obtain. 9. Because of the love thou bearest thy children thou shalt provide clean homes for them. 10. Thou shalt not steal thy children's right to health and happiness.34 These guidelines were taken from a nother contemporary humanitarian minded publication, Hygeia My favorite is commandment number two. The establishment of a cleaning day, a sort of secular sanitation sabbat h, is an intentional word play designed to convey the attributes of organized religion in a fun consumer fashion. The really cute part of this discursive strategy is found in CIs advice to remember the cleaning day and keep it wholly. Wholly is a homophone of hol y and enriches the relig ious feeling of the poster. CI did not author these commandm ents, but they did publish them. These injunctions outline serious social and moral responsibilities. In this example, CI intentionally blurred the line between the secula r and the religious in order to sell more soap. Purity rituals and beliefs are an import ant part of the meaning making that goes on in religion.35 CI sells more than soap. CI se lls the virtuous morals and ethics of cleanliness. These commandments are a pr ime example of how CI mingles physical hygiene with social purity morals. In this way, the work of making soap the champion of cleansing rituals resembles the work of relig ious missionaries spreading the Gospel of Christianity. CI uses religion to sell soap because re ligious practices and beliefs, particularly Christian practices and beliefs, are an importa nt aspect of the everyday lives of most Americans during this time period. Cleanliness is not in direct competition with Christianity because the two are not mutually ex clusive. General cleanliness is a tenet of 34 Ten Health Commandments. CJ Vol. I, No. 4 (Feb. 1928). P. 8. 35 Douglas. 2002. 18

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many religions. CI emphasizes this tende ncy more than the detailed theological prescriptions of specific purity rituals because they could not have called for the modern invention of soap. For CI religion is mere ly a marketing strategy. Even though CI uses religious material in its publications, its in tention was to convert customers, not save souls. In this way, CIs us e of religion as marketing stra tegy was lip service to attract religious consumers. Even so, CI does not leave out metaphysical justifications for cleanliness. CI argues that bodily cleanliness is a sign of spiritual purity alongside scientific studies based on germ theory and death rates. One example of this comes in a recurring section of the journal titled They Sa y--, where CI publishes reader responses and quotes from other periodicals. By publishing Un cle Jeffs religious editorial from Womens World magazine, written and published in vernacu lar, CI expresses a correlation between cleanliness, nature, and spirituality: Seems to me that us folks as lives in th hills, while we miss a deal of the artificial, have a heap better chance to observe and profit by the real. For instance, th Lord has implanted in th e mind of every man an instinct of refinement, a sense of personal purity; and th closer you get to nature, th stronger this feelin holds. Know why? Nature is clean! And th one element tht makes for health, happiness and harmony in this life is nothin more than a foretellin out of th natural urge to ward cleanliness. --Jeff Z. Lincoln.36 This rural wisdom is a homely example of how CI used religion to breath life into soap and hygiene in order to convince a wider va riety of consumers to buy and use soap. The following pair of headings from the journal also make this agreement between religion and cleanliness evident: "N ext to Godliness: Many Faiths Require Clean Hands as Religious Symbols of Di vine Acceptance"; and "The Soul of Sanitation."37 CI wanted to convert people to soap-users rega rdless of their backgrounds, and made broad appeals to mu ltiply the effect. Soap is now common 36 Uncle Jeff. CJ Vol. 2., No. 1. (October 1928) P. 9. 37 Gladys Spicer. CJ Vol. 4, No. 1. (Nov. 1930) P. 14; L. L. Lumsden, M.D. Senior surgeon, United States Public Health Service. CJ Vol. 3, No. 2. (Feb. 1930) P. 3 19

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ground between ideals that do not share much else. CI did not rely on theology much, but it still managed to include scriptural quotations in the journal. The cause of cleanliness was so successful so quickly because it could yoke these ideals together even when the have plenty of disagreeme y nts otherwise. The saying cleanliness is next to god liness has its roots in old religious literature, as CI points out: The doctrines of religion are resolved into carefulness; carefulness into vigorousness; vigorousness into guiltlessn ess; guiltlessness into abstemiousness; abstemiousness into cleanliness; clean liness into godliness. --The Talmud38 But the fact that anybody remembers it now is likely because marketers successfully associated the phrase with the purchase and use of soap. John Wesley re-popularized the saying in the 18th century. It has been part of Protestant sermons ever since. Today the widespread recognition of the phrase lends itself to movies, TV, newspapers, and advertisements. The expansion of this id ea into popular culture in modern America occurred by way of the branding and labeling of soap. Perhaps the revitalization of religious references to cleanliness enhan ced the success of soap ads, and perhaps campaigns like CIs that sent out millions of pieces of soap literature encouraged preachers to bring up cleanliness more often. Either way, this dual prominence served both sides. As a trade association, C Is motivation is a mixture of capitalist profits and humanitarian concern for the welfare of societ y and civilization. CI depicts cleanliness as a very powerful and important social force. Hygiene opens doors and dirtiness locks them shut. It can be the difference between happiness and diseasestricken poverty. CI showed people how to live clean lives that we re socially acceptable in the U.S., bringing morals, expectations, desires, and re sponsibility into the discussion. 38 CJ Vol. 5, No. 4. (June 1932) P. 2. 20

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Showing the socially ostracizing cons equences of dirtiness was a common technique of CI. For children this embarrassment was limited to scoldings from teacher in front of the class. But for adults, CI warned of joblessness, poverty, loneliness, ugliness, ill-repute, sickness, death, and generally fewer opportunities for success and acceptance in the U.S. One example of CI pl aying off of social fears and inhibitions comes from Vilhjalmur Stefan sson, a noted explorer and aut hor especially popular with boys: Cleanliness may seem to lie in the field of aesthetics," he says, "but it has the most practical value. You would be ostracised socially if people knew you did not bathe, and you would be worse off than if you had halitosis and four-out-offive pyorrhea. 39 The practicality from hygiene comes most obviousl y in the form of health benefits, but it also offers a sort of social security. Rep eatedly leaving home wit hout washing with soap could be more dangerous than accidentally fall ing into a diseased pile of sewer garbage. The frequent and disciplined use of soap a nd water could bring wonderful benefits: a long-lasting, fulfilling, successful, roman tic, beautiful, productive, respected, and rewarding life. CI promoted soap by de fining the benefits of purity rituals, and adversely, the dangers of forsaking those rituals. Beauty was a reliable tag-line for soap, despite direct competition from the burgeoning cosmetics industry that promised similar benefits. While CI wasnt as outlandish as the advertisements from indivi dual soap and cosmetics producers, it still harped on the same fears of be ing socially ostracized: If you don't bathe every day, everyone knows it--except yourself. As the advertisements truly say, your best friend can't tell you that. You have to tell yourself, and appreciate that there is no use trying to succeed in your business, or to merit a promotion, while that barrie r stands between you and modern ideas.40 39 A Matter of Aesthetics. CJ Vol. I, No. 6. (July 1928). P. 19. 40 Kathleen Norris. CJ Vol. I, No. 4 (Feb. 1928). P. 11. 21

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While the ideas of credibility, journalistic in tegrity, and trustworthiness were used by CI throughout its efforts, these ideas became sharp and poignant concerning aesthetic appearance, romance, and love. CI minimi zed the trustworthiness and up-front honesty of actual people. What your date, job in terviewer, family, or friends dont tell you can hurt you. This approach emphasizes abstract social mores and uses fear to turn transgressors away from the danger of poor hygiene a nd towards acceptable and beneficial standards of cleanliness. The maxim that CI wanted to make painfully obvious was that physical cleanliness was a reflection of an individual s character and morals. A piece in CJ by Olga Knopf M.D. asked about the mental assumptions people make about outward appearances: It might be interesting to investigate why we have such [negative] feelings towards self-neglecting people. Why are we suspicious and why do we have a feeling of distrust towards them? Is cleanlin ess an expression of character or is it just a habit? It is only the physical side of our character that makes us like things that look attractive to us a nd persons who appeal to us? 41 These questions aim to establish a clear li nk between physical cleanliness and virtuous character. Dr. Knopfs answers make this connection explicit: I believe that to be clean is an expression of our character as much as is any other quality. It is not accidental that people who neglect their external appearance are not popular. Any one who does not care for his own pe rson, who has no interest in the cleanliness of his app earance, does not seem to be interested in others. He seems not to want to please others or to make a good impression.42 With injunctions like these, CI is equates and reduces mental character and morality to physical appearance. CI used nationalism as another approach to reach out to Americans. The pursuit of cleanliness in the U.S. ha s not been matched the worl d over. Learning modern methods of hygiene was a big step in the Am ericanizing of immigrants and the general 41 Knopf, Olga M.D. Mental Quirks about Good Looks. CJ Vol. 4, No. 4. (June 1931) P.5. 42 Ibid. 22

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masses. CI focused on this issue, making cl eanliness a matter of citizenship and national pride. At the same time, CJ reported on the advancing benefits of cleanliness in the U.S. The journal also berated the hygi enic practices of other cultures. For example, a piece by Elma Rood, Director Health Education Division of the Children's Fund of Michigan, exclaims the advances made on the home-fr ont in her piece, Adding Up Profits: Two years of Cleanliness Teaching in Michigan Schools Bring 100 Per Cent Handwashing, Fewer Epidemics.43 On the other hand, CI incl uded pieces like Trouble on the Border where Grace A. Farrell, State Supe rvisor of Homemaking Classes in Rural Schools, Arizona, wrote Sanitation is a seal ed book to most Mexican families of the peon clas s.44 When it came to immigrants, CI employed n early the same tactics it used for kids. Learning the language and customs of a new continent gave CI a similar context to educate adults about modern cleanliness and help them become better acquainted with U.S. culture. CI portrayed social workers that helped clean up dirty alleys, homes, hospitals, and neighborhoods with high est eem. One article from a 1929 CJ issue summarizes the steps being taken by social workers to help It alians in Michigan. A staff member of a community house full of busy bathtubs offeri ng locals free scrubbings and lessons on how to keep clean wrote to CI about how thei r labor of cleanliness is an issue of national pride: Ours is primarily a character build ing, Americanizing enterp rise for all people and we continue strong in our belief that cleanliness is akin to godliness.45 Cleanliness is an issue of pride that entwines religion, sc ience, politics, and ot her emotionally charged concerns. 43 CJ Vol. 5, No. 4. (June 1932) P. 6. 44 CJ Vol. 5, No. 4. (June 1932) P. 14. 45 Ibid. 23

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CI teamed up with the National Illiteracy Crusade to distribute Mothers First Book free of charge to all who woul d undertake to teach an illiterate.46 The book was an educational reader focused on training in the fundamentals of everyday, healthy living, and a capacity fo r greater enjoyment.47 This approach, dovetailing language, cleanliness, and citizenship, shows how comm itted CI was to spreading the gospel of soap and water across the U.S. The bottom line for CI was increased soap sales, but this ritual conversion snowballs into pur ity beliefs and social mores. CI used many methods to reach out to possible consumers. CI argued for cleanliness using religious, scien tific, and political issues. Some part of CIs barrage must have been compelling to everyone. This example that CI published in its own journal under the heading City Cleans Up Border, plays off of prejudice, national pride in a nation of immigrants, and the idea th at washing and scrubbing are rules to be followed while in the U.S.: Health center and clinics in a Texas c ity are uncovering such an appalling unfamiliarity with the simplest rule s of personal cleanliness among the Mexican and poorer white popula tion that the city Depart ment of Public Welfare is initiating an intensive campaign among th em for greater use of soap and water and tooth brushes.48 This shows CI worked to commodify purity using secular morals and prejudices. The campaign worked. CI lost its funding duri ng the depression and di sappeared less than a decade from its founding, but soap had made its way into cupboards across the U.S. for good. The bottom line is that CI was greatly succe ssful at persuading r ituals of purity in the U.S.. As historian Vincent Vinikas has written, In 1938, when the Scripps-Howard network canvassed the commodities in 53,000 hom es in sixteen cities, soap ranked 46 "Ideals of Better Living Spread by National Illiteracy Crusade" CJ Vol. 2, No. 4. (July 1929) P. 9. 47 Ibid. 48 CJ Vol. 2, No. 2. (January 1929) P. 15. 24

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second only to bread-and-butter in the essentia ls of life.49 Flour, baking powder and butter or oleo were the only commodities out-ranking soap, literally bread and butter essentials. In this survey soap edged out toothpaste, coffee, shortening or lard, hot or cold cereal, sugar, refrigerati on, and radio, all of which could be found in at least 89% of homes. Within six years of CIs closing, soap was safely in cupboards across the U.S. Soap producers equated cleanliness with soap, commodi fying moral and material purity. Purity is a complex social phenomenon. The fact that CI used so many different theoretical angles to promote the soap and wate r purity ritual is itse lf a testament to the wide reaching significance for what is in 2009 taken for granted as normal: a bar next to the sink, a bottle of hand soap in the cupboard, or puff of body wash in the shower. The Cleanliness Institute set out to sell soap and achieved this goal successfully by attaching abstract morals and virtues to th e physical commodity of soap. In order to convert Americans to the modern soap ritual CI infused th e new commodity with age old wisdom and cutting edge science. Although th is organization is an ideal example of a capitalist economic organization guided by acco untants bottom line, CI still used its resources to build a universes worth of social meaning in the commodity, spurring a cultural movement of cleanliness co nversion in the United States. 49 Vinikas. 1992. P. 93. 25

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Chapter 2: Preaching Cleanliness The Brethren of Christ Mission in Rhodesia, Africa, 1898-1914 In 1915, Hannah Frances Davidson publishe d a 480 page account of her 15 years spent as a Brethren of Christ (BC) Protestant missionary in Rhodesia. In it she described how natives had their own washing rituals before the arrival of white westerners: The [native] wash basin is the mouth. The mouth is filled with water, which is allowed to run in a thin stream on the ha nds until they are washed, and then the hands are filled in the same way to wash the face. I was greatly interested once in the operation of bathing twins. The children were evidently accustomed to such baths; for they took it all quietly, and perhaps enjoyed it as much as a white child in a bath tub of warm water.50 In her description of natives using the m outh as a wash basin, Davidson imagined Africans in Rhodesia as having an understa nding of cleanliness. For the missionary, though, this was a primitive understanding. Mi ssionaries worked then to civilize Africans by both saving their souls and modernizing their cleanliness practices. In this chapter, I examine BC missiona ry efforts in Africa using Davidsons account, South and South Central Africa: A Record of Fifteen Years' Missionary Labors Among Primitive Peoples For ease of flow and to avoid copious margin eating footnotes, all in-text citations in this ch apter are page numbers from Davidsons book. My aim is to highlight the methods and mo tivations of missionaries that wished to transform the religion, the customs, and sp ecifically the cleansing purity rituals of African natives. In order to save souls and c onvert those ignorant of Him to servants of God, BC worked to change the purity beliefs and rituals of Rhodesians. A significant aspect of BCs efforts also went to modern izing the work ethic and labor practices of natives in order to make them better su ited to the economic opportunities provided by 50 Davidson, Hannah. South and South Central Africa: A Record of Fifteen Years' Missionary Labors Among Primitive Peoples Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, Ill.: 1915. P. 197. 26

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western capitalism in the colonial cities al ong the African coast. The skills missionaries taught locals supported the social and econom ic domination of Africa by imperial, colonial, and industrial conquest I aim to show the native s mores, the missionaries presumptions, and discuss their interactions. Davidsons account is very t horough and interesting. It serves as an ideal type of Protestant Christian religious effort to convert indigenous populations. While only a singular example, Davidsons missionary account serves as an apt contrast to the Cleanliness Institute. This account is taken from fifteen years of missionary work in Africa beginning in 1897. Both the time period and their stan ces on cleanliness are comparable to that of CI. Their motivations are far from identical but they both take on ritual purity as a primary focus. The Brethren of Christ have persisted to this day in more than twenty-three countries around the world.51 They trace their roots to Pennsylvania in the third quarter of the 18th century. Their website explains their historical theological influences as Anabaptism, Pietism, and Wesleyanism. Davidsons book shows that BC viewed physical cleanliness and hygiene as a sacred religious practice that signaled spiritual progress and devotional faith. The influence of Calvins doctrine of predestination is significant. Calvins doctrine of predestination le ft Christians wondering about the fate of their souls. This doubt led Protestants to work for God at appropriate callings and claim physical signs of asceticism, purity, and eternal election. In his Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism Weber talks about how attempts to discern signs of election were marked in economic terms, as proper management of wealth was signaled Gods grace and favor: The providential interpretation of profitmaking justified the activities of the business man. The superior indulgen ce of the seigneur and the parvenu ostentation of the nouveau ri che are equally detestable to asceticism. But, on the other hand, it has the highest ethical appreciation of the sober, middle-class, self51 Brethren In Chirst website. http://www.bic-church. org/about/history.asp. accessed 4 March 2009. 27

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made man. "God blesseth His trade" is a stock remark about those good men who had successfully followed the divine hint s. The whole power of the God of the Old Testament, who rewards His people for their obedience in this life, 49 necessarily exercised a similar influence on the Puritan.52 The topic of physical signs of divine grace is not new to religion in general or Christianity in particular. The Brethrens theological tie s leave plenty of room to understand this kind of labor in the world and the fruits it produced as signs of election.53 Scholar Gianfranco Poggi points out how th is Protestant tendency is connected with Calvins theology: The Protestant sects, according to Weber, placed a premium on the individuals disposition to organise coherently and control conscientiously his own conduct. They thereby cultivated those very quali ties that Calvinist doctrine generated in the faithful by means of their anxiety over their own eternal fate.54 Christians needed physical signs to allay thei r fears of eternal damnation. Examples of Coherent organization and conscientiously controlled conduct can be found on the body, and in the home, community, and nati on of believers as purity, hygiene, and cleanliness. As Suellen Hoy has argued, in a very generalized Calvinist way, clean Americans may have appeared godly si nce they had the means to be so.55 Within this theological worldview, cleanliness is used as a marker or sign of the inner workings of psychological faith. This is a foundationa l underpinning that supports interpreting physical conditions as spiritual markers, with worldly success, fortune, order, and organization designated as signs of election. 52 Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, NY: 2003. P. 163. 53 the religious valuation of restless, continuous, systematic work in a worldly calling, as the highest means to asceticism, and at the same time the surest and most evident proof of rebirth and genuine faith, must have been the most powerful conceivable lever for the expansion of that attitude toward life which we have here called the spirit of capitalism. Weber. P. 172 54 Poggi, Gianfranco. Calvinism and the Capitalist Spirit: Max Webers Protestant Ethic. The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst: 1983. P. 78. 55 Hoy, Suellen. Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness Oxford University Press, New York: 1995. P. 4. 28

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Brethren In Christ Missionaries including author Hannah Davidson and an assembly of native boys living an d schooling at the mission. Davidsons perspective as a Christian missi onary is at all times apparent, but she maintains an air of descri ptive objectivity while withholding personally vindictive judgments.56 The book includes a respect able amount of vivid desc ription with sections reminiscent of ethnography. Her writing e xudes a caring but concerned warmth for Africans. The author was allowed and ear ned a very personal relationship with indigenous Africans. The rapport missionaries provided a veil of security and freedom within a secluded section of African society. 56 Davidsons mission begins in Kansas with a five dollar donation that jump-started the missionary fund for the Brethren of Christ Church in May 1894 (20). After several year s of fundraising, the church placed an ad soliciting missionaries in a Christian periodical. At that time Davidson was a teacher at McPherson College in Kansas (23). When she r ead the appeal, she felt touched by the Lord and knew she was called to labor in foreign lands bringing souls to the light of the Christian gospels. Th e appeal lamented how the congregation had gathered funds but no courageous a pplicants willing to make a full sacrifice of home, friends, and self--a perfect cutting loose (22). The ap peal stressed how souls were perishing due to their ignorance despite Christs sacrifice. African souls could be saved just like any other, but it was going to take a lot of time and committed effort from advent urous Christians. While at once called to preach the gospel and spread the word of Christ, in order for this opportunity to arise in a foreign land the missionaries first toiled in their homeland. First off, BC had to raise money and find willing and able bodies to serve Christ in such a demanding and dangerous expedition. Those that signed on to the adventure traveled to other Brethren churches asking for extra funds and hand s for the work. Over the next three years the crew increased to five, and a few thousand dollars were do nated both directly to the missionaries and to the churchs missionary fund. The author was the first to commit to the mission. The crew set sail from U.S.A. on 24 November 1897 (29). The sea voyage passed through London on the way to Cape Town. From there the journey embarked by rail for the interior and Bulawayo with a wagon cart packed with goods and pulled by oxen. After meeting and making agreements with local officials the group set off on foot past the outskirts of town to set up in a location secluded from other missionary outposts, but near several native villages (42-3). 29

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The line separating missionaries from the likes of settlers, police, and other whites was easy to detect. Africans did not take to western conquest lying down. There were a couple of bloody rebellions in the decades l eading up to the arriva l of the Brethren mission (47-8). Because of their humanitarian work, though, missionaries were not looked down upon or threatened like other whites would have been. African chiefs and white imperial conquerors agreed that missi onaries were good influences and welcome in Africa. Missionaries reached out to comm unities through education and training in both religious and modern ideas, prep aring locals for work in coloni al industries. For the most part, Africans cooperated with and respected miss ionaries. It is for all of the humanistic and philanthropic endeavors that natives welc omed missionaries and saw them differently than white policemen, colonizers, and industrialists. Davidson recounted how the local Ch ief welcomed the missionaries and introduced them to the headmen of the local villages after arriving at the site of the mission for the first time. The Chief said, "T hese are not like othe r white people. They have come to teach you and your children and to do you good. Now do what you can for them and help them (55). The missionaries were surpri sed and gracious at this show of friendly kindness, and we re thereafter welcomed by the locals. Missionaries were motivated to save souls. All their work was aimed at turning what they considered pagan heathens to G od and Jesus: There are two objects which seem paramount on the mission field, and about which everything else revolves. These are, (1) the salvation of souls, and (2) the preparation of natives to become teachers and evangelists of their people ( 440). Missionaries tr ained and baptized natives, instructing them to go out and preach and convert more and more souls ignorant of Christianity in Africa. But the labor of a missionary far ex ceeded that of merely preaching from the Bible and singing hymns. In order to have the opportunity for proselytizing, missionaries first had to find ways to survive in a ha rsh new landscape. Along the way, BC sought to 30

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instill modern notions of hea lth and cleanliness, as well as other western ideas and rituals that made natives better prepared to encounter colonial enterprises. Physical tasks and hardships were part a nd parcel of the calling and the faith. The point is to save souls by working to convert and bring the teachings of God and Christ to light and cast out the darkness they use to describe the lack of knowledge and faith. But there is more to religion than scriptur al hermeneutics. The lessons missionaries instilled crossed into the mundane topics of daily living: our aim being to take them out of their degraded home surroundings and give them the threefold tr aining, spiritual, intellectual, and industrial, all of which s eemed necessary to help them become strong, established Christians (127). The missionaries burdened themselves to exemplify, teach, and spread the lifestyles of modern Ch ristian civilization. The religious changes missionaries brought with them challenged African traditions and customs. Due to the new dangers of the African inte rior, missionaries battled as hard to stay clean and healthy as they did to spread the gospel of Christ.57 Missionaries understood all of their myriad tasks as different aspects of the sa me work of Christianity.58 57 Living in largely undeveloped south central Africa, missionaries encountered insects, pests, and other environmental threats. Lions, cheetahs, and hyenas could slaughter valuable livestock and kill people sleeping in huts or traveling by wagon convoys. Termites decimated permanent structures, and could even make quick work of furniture or other household items in a single night (289-90). Snakes and bugs made unpleasant surprises and locusts could cut down any progress a fledgling garden plot might have promised (116). For as much as the missionaries sought to teach, they were required to learn even more. The language barrier was a persistent obstacle, partic ularly because multiple lang uages were spoken within a small geographic region. Missionaries built suita ble shelters and communities including schools, churches, and animal pens. Missionaries had to lear n all about the local weather and seasons, pests and threats, and how to interact with the natives respect fully. The seasons demanded attention so that crops could be cultivated. The rainy season, while necessary for farming, was the sickliest season: In some localities, notably Rhodesia and farther inland, the deadly malarial fever is especially severe during the rainy season (41). Rains swelled and dirtied water sources, festered mosquitoes, and sapped the strength of hard workers, leaving many susceptible to debilitating fevers that could kill. The generally hotter climate slowed the pace of labor an d multiplied the number of livestock necessary for burdensome tasks (374). 58 All missionary effort was for the purpose of proselytizing. But the missionaries figured out that it takes more than faith to survive. It took heavy doses of hard work, tenacity, and effort. Missionary deaths were not uncommon or unexpected, especially in the first months. Sickness and fever were constant threats that could be contracted from contaminated water sources, exposure to the elements, a new and meager diet, and physical stress and exhaustion. Everybody that came to Africa for the mission got sick at some point, and while almost everybody lived through it, several succumbed to disease and death (42, 97, 105). 31

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Housework and preaching were both necessary because the missionaries served as an example of Christian living while teaching a nd converting natives. Missionaries wanted to convert and civilize Africans, so they did not consider tasks separate from preaching to be peripheral to their religious mission. When natives came to school they heard preaching and singing. But they also labored farming, cleaning, and building. Worldly markers of indoctrination like cleanliness and hygiene were considered necessary for, but not synonymous with, heart-felt faith. The missionaries allowed natives to liv e on-site. Running missions supporting 10-30 natives provided plenty of labor to keep the interested natives busy (212). Teaching natives to satisfactorily complete c hores and skills was a difficult and important part of being a missionary that went hand in hand with preaching. It was always our aim to make them understand that they were expe cted to earn what they received by giving labor in return (279). If the natives worked hard they w ould earn wages or get to keep some of the fruits of their labor su ch as food, clothing, or raw materials. One of the most common topics of instruction offered by missionaries was cleanliness. From washing the body, scrubbing the laundry, tidying living spaces, and caring for the sick and inju red, cleanliness was a primary lesson taught when there was time not spent studying the Bibl e or discussing the Gospels.59 Missionaries didnt equate 59 Caring for the sick or wounded was an ongoing responsibility for missionaries. Even those with little experience before embarking on a mission became proficient and experienced with medical work necessitated by accidents and illness. Simple cleanlin ess precautions went a long way in the treating of wounds and the administering of medicines. Since physical health was a requisite for spiritual progress, missionaries did not shirk these resp onsibilities: The missionary necessa rily becomes physician and nurse to his people, and it brings him into contact with them and relieves their sufferings and thus paves the way for ministering to their spiritual n eeds. He who neglects this part of the work makes a grave mistake (162). Natives came for medical attention wh en their own remedies and ceremonies were unsuccessful. Scurvy was a common culprit due to the local diet. When missionaries were able to cure illnesses or nutritional deficiencies that natives could not, the missionaries were revered as healers that could raise lifeless bodies back from the dead (421). Succe ss stories like these were powerful tools for garnering support for and conversions to Christianity. This example also shows how BC found sacred significance in nonreligious tasks and responsibilities. Prayer was also a valuable healing tool. The natives had no dogmatic metaphysical problems accepting the validity of miraculous healings. In se veral situations it appeared that prayers voiced by the missionaries saved the lives of doomed and expiring natives (160). These interactions were inspirational fo r everyone and forged better trusting relationships between Africans and missionaries. 32

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religiosity with cleanliness, though. While having a tidy and comfortable living space helped individuals overcome adversity in intellectual and spiritual matters, the missionaries were wary of missing the forest for the trees: He [who has cleaned] is then just that much better fitted to cope with the opposite conditions, and he can cope with them for a longer time and do better work for the Master (300). Brethren In Christ missionaries training native children how to wash Cleanliness, work ethic, indus trial skills, knowledge of la nguages, and dozens of other mundane practices, were not to be m istaken for proper Christianity. Davidson wrote that, We in the mission field need also to guard against the other extreme of spending too much time in beautifying our surroundings and making ourselves comfortable, to the neglect of that God-given message (300). These were considered outer signs of progress, but the real marker existed in the hearts and mi nds that turned to God and Christ as the only true source of salvation. It is hard to instill and gauge real faith in others. Tasks and trainings test the commitment of those involved, and while the truly converted will express these newly learne d sensibilities, cleanliness or physical organization and order alone were not synonym ous with Godliness. While cleanliness might signal that a person was among the elect it did not guarantee their salvation. In this way, Davidson echoed that Protestant rejec tion of salvation by works. This perpetual doubting of personal salvation, however, mutually reinforced compulsory cleanliness. 33

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The clean may have not been guaranteed a seat in heaven, but it was near certain that the elect were not found among the dirty. Real world practical skills like r eading and speaking English, and basic construction know-how were being taught to natives at missions. These qualifications could fetch Africans relatively higher wages from western bus iness ventures in colonial centers (308). Some natives would learn these skills and move on to city life.60 A few stayed with the mission and served as teacher s, furthering the modern education in the African interior. This dynamic created tensi on between the Lords work and the work of worldly secular men. As more natives gained Christian habits a nd skills, missionaries had to carefully examine the motivations of natives interested in becoming a part of the Brethren. BC emphasized the physical as well the spir itual in the lives of its adherents, keeping with its theological influences. Asp ects of physical appearance such as hygiene, cleanliness, and even dress were a part of the Brethrens Christian way of life.61 Yet the external signs of the faith do not necessarily make one a convert. In deciding whether a 60 See Appendix III. 61 Missionaries threw love feasts when natives aspiring to missionary work took Christian marriage (228, 321). Love feasts gave Davidson the chance to comment on how the African encounter with western colonizers affected dress and conversi on to Christ: While the missionaries have been laboring these years to win souls to Christ, many civilizing influences have been at work throughout the country, some of which have been previously mentioned. Stores with European clothing are to be found everywhere, and many natives discard their heathen garb fo r civilized clothing and yet know absolutely nothing of Christ and His power to save. Some of these well-dressed natives abou t the towns have learned far more of the evils of civilization than of its virtues, and hide under their new dress an even blacker heart than they did under their old pagan exterior. Then too we are sorry to say that intelligence in the sense of having been at a mission station and learning to read does not necessarily make them Chri stians. Some of these also, to the great sorrow of their teachers, have made poor use of their knowledge (231-2). Like purity, dress connects the physical with the theologi cal and the sacred with the secular. As materially objects are ritually made into commodities, the secular meets the religious in the marketplace. Dress can have multiple meanings within a religious system. It sets up a lo t of the same boundaries as purity and reinforces behavior and relationships in a similar way. Dress is an intimate and integral part of social experience just like purity and cleanliness. (Connerly, Jennifer L. Quaker Bonnets and the Erotic Feminine in American Popular Culture. Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief (July 2006); Daly, Catherine. "The Paarda Expression of Hejaab among Afghan Women in a Non-Muslim Community." Linda B. Arthur ed. Oxford and New York: Berg, 1999) P. 147-162; Evenson, Sandra Lee and David J. Trayte. "Dress and Interaction in Contending Cultures: Ea ster Dakota and Euroamericans in Nineteenth Century Minnesota." Religion, Dress, and the Body Linda B. Arthur ed. Oxford and New York: Berg, 1999) P. 96-116; McDannell. Chapter 7, Mormon Garments: Sacred Clothing and the Body, P. 198-221). 34

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native was deserving of baptism, the ultim ate cleansing and saving grace of God, BC looked for the physical cues embraced by Af ricans, but relied more heavily on tests designed to reveal mental faith. Cleanliness is prime target of missionary efforts because they see African natives as icons of dirt and disorder Naturally they do not know what cleanliness is, either about their person or in their homes. (328) Many of the native customs do turn Christian understandings of cleanliness on their heads. But this does not mean that Africans are lacking rituals and practices that maintain social mores about acceptable hygiene and purity beliefs. Natives did not know much if anything about Christianity, but they still had systems of customs and religion. Davidson describes the natives as having their own system of morals and ritu als before the missionaries arrived. The missionaries recognized native rituals of purity, appearance religion, marriage, eating, and death; however, they considered them i gnorant and debased. Davidson relays a lot of information about native African customs, spending several chapters describing their religion and other aspects of their culture (191, 387). The native religion and system of cust oms, although blasphemous to Christians, provides constraints and guideli nes for its adherents, not un like many religions. Despite this, the missionaries often referred to the natives beliefs in terms of darkness. Darkness is a common theme throughout Davidsons account. Dark means lacking the light of Christ and God. Dark is also used to denote skin color, evolutionary progress, and cultural traditions in general. Davidson quotes a European equating skin color with morality, "their morals are as black as their faces" (370). But the missionary questions this prejudice with her own pe rsonal experience: I believe I can safely say, from what I have seen and learned of the inner life of th e native, that in dark, heathen Africa, even before the light of the Gospel penetrates, th ere are those who are moral and pure (300). Despite Davidsons western prejudices she was able to see that the regulations that already existed in native African societ y were sometimes beneficial. Especially 35

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considering the whirlwind of changes brought by colonial in dustry, BC was wary of the effects modern civilization might bring down on natives that did not have strong social and moral responsibilities as outlined by either Christianity or some otherwise constraining set of beliefs: the missionary sees what it means to these poor souls to be so suddenly brought from the dense darkness of heathe ndom into the glaring lights of modern civilization, and how unprepared they are fo r it all, how little they know to shun the evil and choose the good; it is becau se he knows how helpless these are who have suddenly broken loose from their ol d tribal laws and customssome of which were beneficialand have been cast on the untri ed sea of strange and bewildering surroundings, w ithout any anchor to hold or compass and chart to guide them (232). This revealing passage shows how missionaries recognized bo th the beneficial function of native social institutions and expressed skepticism about the loose morals of modern civilization bent and shaped prim arily by secular industry and economy. BC missionaries used soap. Not much specific talk of soap ended up in Davidsons account. But her brief descriptions are illustrative. She appears to take for granted the need for soap and cleanliness in a way that emphasizes its presupposed normalcy and standardness: But most of hi s clothing is gone and his money is gone; he does not even have sufficient with which to purchase soap, so that he may wash the remaining clothing (378). The only other men tion of soap expresses a native disposition against it.62 Cleanliness was preached because it was cl ose to Godliness. In Contrast to CI, which used religion to sell soap and make money, BC used soap as a tool of religious praxis to serve God and save souls. Laziness was a common cri ticism of natives becaus e Brethren missionaries stressed industriousness as a sign of the c onversion process. Davidson offers a critique based on the work habits of the boys who came to attend school and live at the mission: In their homes many of them spent their time in an indolen t fashion, their muscles being 62 See Appendix III. 36

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flabby and unused to exercise; and often, when they came to us, they were too lazy even to play at recess (280). In Davidsons view, natives did not need much in order to sustain their way of life. Therefore, they ha d plenty of free time. The only tax levied on natives was a small one on huts. This could be afforded with a few surplus crops or laboring in cities for westerne rs. While the terrain was not remarkably abundant and the weather or pests could be troublesome, nativ es survived raising cattle, goats, and farming.63 With their needs taken met, Davids on felt that some natives were lazy. Missionaries recognized and began to e xpect this tendency towards laziness. Natives did not give the issue a bad connotati on because they were comfortable with their lifestyle. Davidson recounts an episode where a native mother encounters her son working at the mission: One day one of the mothers came and inquired about her son, a boy about thirteen years of age, and she was told that he was digging in the garden. Kanyama digging? she asked, in great su rprise. Why, he does not know how to work (280). Instilling work ethic was a part of th e missions enterprise because Gods work is not easy. Missionaries saw hard labor as a sign of belief in Christianity, but these lessons also make a more modern civilization possi ble in Africa because natives became better prepared and equipped to work for modern products and fuel the march of civilization. Davidson talks about the na tive practice of building hut s as another example of laziness or procrastination. Due to the weat her and building materials, huts did not last long. Every couple of years huts must be built again to serve as shelter during the rainy season. Davidson criticizes the native strate gy as reckless and inefficient because they tend to wait until the last possible minute, some times even after the first rains have fallen, to build: He puts it off until he is forced to do it, willy-nilly. As a rule the native is never in a hurry; he always performs his work deli berately. That is characteristic of the country, or climate, rather than of the individual, because no one in Africa seems to be in a hurry (374). 63 See Appendix III. 37

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These ideas were accepted in Rhodesia, but pr oblematic for missionaries. Habits like laziness and hygiene were to be reformed and abolished during the process of conversion to Christianity. Part of the conversion readies Africans for modern economic opportunities. Brethren missionari es wanted to instill work ha bits that were appreciated and sought after by encroaching capitalists. Fundam ental social beliefs and practices get swept up in the transition to Christianity because religion is a wide reaching social institution. Beauty, fashion, cleanliness, hygiene, building strategies, modes of production, and economy all got shaped and in fluenced as the missionaries encounter Africans. African boys building Western s tyle house fo r living at mission. Before and After. Natives had their own ideas about beauty and aesthetics. Davidson characterized native taste as flashy and excessive.64 Natives would use as many nice clothes and ornaments as were available regardless of weather or other practical concerns, 64 Given various colored beads, some fine and some heavy wire, a few buttons, shells, and ivory rings, and they are adept at adorning the body, at least according to the native' s idea of beauty. In some respects the barbarous African's idea of orname ntation does not differ materially from that of her white sisters, the difference being one of degree rather than of kind. The American beauty thinks one or two strings of beads around her neck are quite the proper thing, and add to her charm. The African beauty will tell you that if one or two are nice, four or five are nicer. It is the same with the bracelets; the American belle is pleased with one or two on her wrists. The African is likewise, but she is better pleased with a dozen, only she adds utility to beauty and thinks that a lot of heavy rings around her wrists or ankles add to their strength and give her corresponding value in the eyes of the opposite sex. Then too she will tell you that her god told her to adorn herself thus, which is doubtless true. Davidson. 1915. P. 367. 38

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particularly for special situati ons like weddings or Sunday serv ices. One aspect of native aesthetics bleeds into ideas a bout health and hygiene, and that is greasing the body. This common practice consisted of grinding red oc hre into grease and spreading the mixt on the skin. ure he fits, yet it is a far cry from Christian ideals of hygiene, purity, and esthet ith Christian wo rks, including topics 65 In this hot, dry climate this is not so objectionable, if they use it in moderation, by simply oiling the body to prevent the skin from cracking. Many of t women, however, use the grease to excess (4 03). Davidson saw that this practice offered some bene aic beauty. These examples of native purity beliefs, rituals, and customs show that while African natives do not live up to Christian e xpectations, they are far from impure and unclean on their own terms.66 Using their own system of morals and rituals they maintain social boundaries, respectability, and safety which Africans have used to survive comfortably.67 Social mores are not universal. Missionaries came to Africa w the goal of converting souls to Christ and en couraging more mundane than holy trinity and everlasting salvation. The missionaries see the power and significance of religion to custom and viceversa. Davidson quotes a reverend she is fa miliar with: As Rev. Chapman says, the most satisfactory way of changing native cu stoms is by changing his religion (191). 65 Burke, Timothy. Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: Commodifying Cosmetics in South Africa Duke University Press, Chapel Hill: 2000. p. 24-5 66 Snakes offer an interesting glimpse into native totems and metaphysics. Natives revere snakes and will not kill them. During the first year in Africa, Davidson recounts an encounter with a snake before she had learned of this indigenous sensibility. She saw a snake in the rafters of a hut, but when she asked a native to get rid of it he refused. Thinking the native was scared she took a hoe, knocked it down, and killed it. The natives were surprised at her actions. One native explained by asking, Were you not afraid to kill it? Perhaps it was one of your friends. Davidson records that, I then found out that the snake was an object of reverence (184). This incident shows how na tives had well formed ideas about animals and the afterlife. Davidson does not delve an y deeper into the native understandin g of life after death, but this brief episode shows that these beliefs were widespread and accepted, wielding sway and influence over daily activities. 67 Eating arrangements were another issue that showca ses native ideas about purity. While missionaries and natives could enjoy feasts and ceremonies toge ther, meal-time was for the most part a privately segregated event: The missionaries sometimes accept th e hospitality of the natives in their homes and eat of the food set before them, but even there the nativ es will wait until the missionaries have finished eating, or else they will eat in a separate place (128). 39

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Religion is a useful and arguabl y a necessary tool in changi ng the customs and rituals of individuals or groups. The daily actions of people are shaped by taboos, traditions, and ideas. When customs change it is likely that the mental understanding underpinning them ight. The two the this athom have also changed. Christians came to Africa with a very literal mission set out before them. They brought a well defined and implacable sense of morality. And even though Davidson recognized and wrote about the religion, custom s, and daily lives of Africans, she was never in doubt that their way was wrong a nd her way, Gods way, was r sets of mores are different, but they serve similar goals and functions. Conversion to Protestant Christianity can be simple and quick. A believer basically must confess sin, ask forgiveness, accept Jesus, and partake in baptism as a symbolic act of spiritual re generation. But the ensuing process of sanctification, of becoming a more righteous Christian, is a life-long and arduous process. To ensure process is authentic, outside ideas are not tolerated. Instilling unr ivaled faith is not simple or easy: It will be readily seen how difficult it is to inculcate the idea of one Supreme Being Who alone should be worshiped, and Who is a jealous God and will brook no rivals (175). There is no space in Christianity for accepting unwarranted, untested, heathen practices. There is no room for other spirits de serving of propitiation. Africans in Rhodesia understood and accepted a plurality of religious, spiritual, immaterial, and magical ideas. It was not at all difficult for her to include Him among the number of spirits to be worshiped. She wa s willing to accept all who might be able to help them, and even give Him a large place along side of the others. (175) Practices that delivered and provided help didnt need any other proof. Davidson astutely sums up aspect of the natives approach to religion: The native is really very religious, but prefers to take that religion f ound ready to hand rather than to make an attempt to f that which he does not understand (173). In other words, theological doctrine is secondary to staying dry at night during a cool, hard rai n. Locals recognize what 40

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Christian acts work to their material advantage and relish in subsistence, working hard to keep the malevolent influences at bay. Follo wing the mold cast by the West in colonial this cludes changing the native cleanliness rituals like this long list of problems: lot of s on the cities was also an option, but it was not appealing to everyone.68 There are a lot of things the natives in Rhodesia both did and did not do that missionaries considered unclean and impure. Missionaries sought to change these behaviors to ones they knew their God endorse s. The truths of sc ripture and tradition outweigh alternative ideas and practices, even if they served their purpose, because was a battle over the salvation and damnati on of souls. Conversion to Christianity in They seldom wash, they go half-clad, and smear their bodies with paint and grease, and often let the dogs lick clean the few dishes or pots which they possess. If their hands are wet or di rty, the posts of the veranda blocks of wood, or floors are used as towels to wipe on. They see no reason for continually washing a dishes, sweeping floors, and keeping the hous e in order; and they open their eye in astonishment to see white sheets and tablecloths put into the water to be washed. The few articles of clothing to be seen in their homes are generally so thickly coated with grease and dirt as of ten to render it impossible to distinguish the color. Many times they do not have a ny soap, and even if they do have, they object to washing their clothing for fear it will wear out. And yet these young girls, reared in such homes had, in th ese few months, made rapid progress and were becoming quite proficient in assisti ng with some of the work of the kitchen. Sister Taylor's great patience in teaching them was bearing fruit (328-9). The local Africans had to drastically alter th eir understanding of the difference between dirty and clean. Brethren missi onaries took cleanliness as pa rt of the overall conversi process. The new standards brought with the missionaries had never occurred to the natives. After the arrival of westerners, indi genous systems were rapidly changed in face of a new civilization. As the appearance of western economic organizations transformed Africa, missionaries spread to th e interior and helped natives to cope with this process by teaching language, skills, and cultural beliefs. Missionaries made the Wests encounter with Africa a gentler one for both natives and colonists. Missionaries 68 See Appendix III. 41

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made interactions with natives easier for industries and other secular concerns. It also gave natives ways and reasons to reconsider their traditional lifestyle and try out the modern a dvancements of civilization cham pioned and enjoyed by people in Europe and e t s d igno rance, much of this education translated ay f everlasting d definitely involved transforming daily hygiene, cleaning habits, and purity beliefs, but it the U.S. BC changed the life and culture of ma ny African natives, including the purity rituals of natives. Even being able to r ecognize that Africans had their own systems, th dogmatic missionaries set out to modernize hygiene and cleanliness in Rhodesia. The physical nature of dirt and purity makes it signi ficant as a marker of the mental aspect of the conversion process. Because of their theological background, the Brethren of Chris worked hard to apply order to the mundane world of Christians. Apart from instilling new rituals of physical cleanness, BC emphasi zed real world skills that allowed native easier access to modern civi lization and economy dominate d by capital. While their deepest motivation was teachi ng Africans how to live a good Christian life in the full light of God, saving souls from darkness an well into secular pursuits and worldviews. For missionaries like Davidson, soap itself wa s not salvific. It did not wash aw your sins. Only Jesus had that power. But soap did help wash aw ay those barriers to conversion, filth and germs. Soap, in turn, helped keep the Christian convert sparkling clean. In this way, bodily cleanliness was a si gn of spiritual purit y. Thus, cleanliness was next to Godliness, right alongside it, bu t not identical with it. Missionaries held cleanliness in high esteem because it helped th em stay healthy for the paramount work o Christianity. Staying clean helped avoid il lness now and helped prepare for life after death. Soap and religion we nt hand in hand because purity beliefs fundamentally shaped cleansing rituals. To change the cleansing ritual, the purity beliefs must change too. BC missionari es rolled up their sleeves a nd engaged the physical worl as an expression of their labor and love for Christ. Conver ting Africans to Christianity 42

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took a lot more than clean cl othes and a tidy homestead to convince these missionaries of a secure faith in Christ deserving of baptism. 43

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Chapter 3: The Sacred and Secular of Soap In Soft Soap, Hard Sell: American Hygi ene in an Age of Advertisement historian Vincent Vinikas defines social institutions in terms of their social framework. He writes: Social institutions provide the framework of a people. Each defines a set of roles and social identities that tell individual s who they are and im poses an authority network of its own creation, telling folks not just who they are but how they fit in. The institution promulgates a cluste r of social values and beliefs, and by promoting its own standard of normative behavior, a social institution also tells people where they should be headed and whether or not they are getting there. Social institutions are the media through which culture acts upon a people.69 Using this definition, purity also is a social institution just like religion, politics, or advertising. Soap is interest ing because it is a modern produ ct that elicits and highlights the sacred in a marketing association and th e profane in evangelizing missionary efforts abroad. CI increased soap sales by infusing its product with the ideal of cleanliness. BCs process of religious conversion is a place where mundane rituals and lifestyle habits are infused with abstract theology and trad itional meaning. Soap and purity beliefs and rituals are a unique topic in contemporary religious studies because they draw on religious and secular perspectives and ideas challenging definitions and inciting debate. In this chapter, I use several theorists to examine the actions of CI and BC to unravel the ramifications for discussions of the sacred and the prof ane, and religion and the secular. My aim is to keep religion and economy differentiated while still pointing out their remarkable functional similarities. Religion can be about the mundane, and the secular can be about the transcendent. Unde rstanding the secular as merely profane is problematic or at least incomplete. CI, a secular institution, blurs the boundaries between 69 Vinikas. P. vii. 44

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the sacred and the profane, while BC, a re ligious institution, e ngages the mundane, the profane, and the secular aspects of ev eryday life with missionary fervor. Theories of religion, such as those of Eliade and Durkheim, have emphatically divided the sacred from the profane.70 Mary Douglas investigations of purity and religion in society yield importa nt theories for examining th e religious aspects of CI. Douglas argued that purity beliefs define the boundaries between acceptable and outlier: "Reflection on dirt involves re flection on the relation of orde r to disorder, being to nonbeing, form to formlessness, life to death. Wh erever ideas of dirt are highly structured, their analysis discloses a play upon such profound themes.71 From this standpoint physical cleanliness can be considered a way to organize conduct. By examining how purity and danger play out on individual bodies she extrapolat es how these ideas define and reinforce group dynamics. 70 Religion scholar Mircea Eliade argued that religion is sui generis, erupting as hierophanies recognizable through their profound spiritual significance: the manifestation of something of a wholly different order, a reality that does not belong to our world, in objects that are an integral part of our natural profane world (Eliade, Mircea. The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., New York: 1959. P. 11.). For Eliade, a dichotomy exists between the sacred and the profane, which are defined in opposition and in terms of desacralization. Eliade writes, The first possible definition of the sacred is that it is the opposite of the profane; and desacralization pervades the entire experience of the nonreligious man of modern societies (Ibid. P. 10, 13). Eliade equates the profane with the modern and secular, and the religious with the primitive or ancient (Ibid. P. 14.). Since Eliade argued that the process of desacralization creates nonrelig ious men from religious ancestors, he concedes that secular action sometimes resembles religious ritual, but maintains a strident distinction between the sacred and the profane. He described it by saying, profane man cannot help preserving some vestiges of the behavior of religious man, though they are emptied of religious meaning (Ibid. P. 203-4). Keeping to these theories would mean that the Christian expressions of BC would never overlap worldly knowledge, and that CIs marketing campaign would never use or mimic religious injunctions. This sort of understanding of the sacred, profane, and secular is not very helpful for interpreting the advertising and proselytizing CI and BC. 71 Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concept of Pollution and Taboo New York: Routledge, 2002. Originally published in 1966 by Routledge & Kegan Paul. P. 7. 45

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Douglas talks about how the social understandings of purity ta ke shape and give meaning to things and events in culture, resembling Vinikas de finition of social institution, and Durkheims notion of religion:72 Rituals of purity and impurity create un ity in experience. So far from being aberrations from the central project of re ligion, they are positive contributions to atonement. By their means, symbolic patterns are worked out and publicly displayed. Within these patterns dispar ate elements are re lated and disparate experience is given meaning.73 Purity beliefs give life meaning. Religi on makes meaning by defining the universe in ways that shape the lives of believers through rules and ritual s, and Purity is one of the ways this is achieved. Purity rituals are not in dividual or social aftertho ughts. One of the most interesting and integral ideas in Purity and Danger is Douglas discussion about dirt. Douglas argues that cleanness, and its oppos ite dirtiness, are socially constructed, providing structure for groups and protocol fo r individuals. Put simply, Douglas argues that dirt is not universal. She explains dirt as in infraction of order, and that the terms dirt and order are relative to a given group or society: 72 Emile Durkheims notion of incommensurability sepa rating the sacred and prof ane precedes Eliades, and both offer incomplete analysis of these modern organizations. Still, Durkheims emphasis on society as the fundamental reality of religion is more useful for this project (Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life The Free Press, New York: 1965. P.55.). Adhering to cleanliness standards like shaking hands often with soap before eating and after toilet identifies one as part of the group, and buying soap and keeping it reliably handy more often than other household goods shows it takes significant priority and repetitive ritual. Durkheim argued that, feasts and rites, in a word, the cult, are not the whole religion. This is not merely a system of prac tices, but also a system of ideas whose object is to explain the world; we have seen that even the humblest have their cosmology (Ibid. P. 476). To this end CI laboriously engineers an unbridgeable chasm between clean and dirty. Protocols and consequences of purity are important, stretching beyond concerns over superficial appearan ce, and delving into the fundamental structure of social relations in groups by offering benefits like auspicious advantages at home, in love, and at work, and protection from physical illne ss or social castigation. Cleanliness is about social acceptance and fitting in to the moral order. CI fulfills Durkheims notion of relig ion as a social cult with guidelines to the sacred and the profane. Durkheims perspective makes CI look like a priest in the Church of cleanliness. CI worked to instill washing ritual s and filter the world through sanitation and hygiene standards of purity and responsibility. 73 Douglas. P. 3. 46

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As we know it, dirt is essentially disorder. There is no such thing as absolute dirt: It exists in the eye of the beholder. If we shun dirt, it is not because of craven fear, still less dread of hol y terror. Nor do our ideas about disease account for the range of our behaviour in cl eaning or avoiding dirt. Dirt offends against order. Eliminating it is not a negative movement, but a positive effort to organise the environment.74 In one sense dirt is merely earth or soil. But in the dichotomy from pure and clean to dirty and dangerous, it takes on the meani ng Douglas points out. Even if a secular organization defines the purity ru les, the social implications are comparable to religion: as Belk argued, Religion is one, but not the only, context in which the concept of the sacred is operant.75 Both CI and BC worked to change individual understandi ngs of dirt and cleanliness in order to alter the mundane rituals of groups The relationships that get shaped by cleanliness are wide ranging with in cultures, with more general topics, categories, and attitudes rec ognizable across cultures. For these reasons Douglas sees purity and cleanliness as a valid entry point into discussi ons of comparative religion.76 CI exploits this same approach. In or der to transform the ritual, CI transformed the belief. Seeing the potency of purity within and across cult ures, CI uses purity to give reality meaning that supports the economics of soap producer s. While CI envisions the use of soap as a practical, empirical, and phys ical thing, washing ritu als play on the same themes that religious instituti ons insist upon emphasizing. CI is a provocative example of how econom ic institutions are similar to religious institutions. CI does things like defining ritu als and giving them mean ing. Advertising is 74 Douglas. P. 2. 75 Belk, Russell W., Melanie Wallendorf, and John F. Sher ry, Jr. "The Sacred and the Profane in Consumer Behavior: Theodicy on the Odyssey." The Journal of Consumer Research. Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jun., 1989). P. 1-38. P. 2. 76 Douglas. P. 7. 47

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a powerful tool in spreading information a nd shaping societies. CI shapes social relationships, attitudes, and beliefs. CI gives people di rection and purpose in life and influences desire. CI pushes civilizati on forward by marketing not only soap but a consumer based economy focused on earning a li ving in order to buy myriads of products made possible by ever expanding industries. This ideal of unrestrained growth and limitless progress is as close as CI came to a dogmatic doctrine resembling theology. CI and other secular institutions concerned with economics become social realities like religion through materi als and rituals. Cleanliness as marketed by CI is a viable subject for study in the discipline of comparative religions. The theoretical fr ameworks provided by Durkheim and Douglas support studying CIs campaign as a compar ative religion. One of Douglas main arguments is that socially pervasive polluti on taboos and purifica tion rituals are more prevalent in societies that don't institute a nd enforce laws or rules concerning personal bodies, and vice-versa. America and CI's camp aign support this thesis. Being too dirty is not an arrestable offense in and of itself until neglect endangers others. Without this sort of institutionalized enforcement the growing acceptance and appreciation of handwashing purity rituals is more dependent on social mores and pollution taboos. Sensing this discrepancy, CI invoked a wide array of social pressures in order to change common conceptions about cleanness so that they w ould wash with soap more often. Love, beauty, marriage, job security, family quarre ls, the progress of ci vilization, easier and better work, health, communicable disease, and religion are all us ed to persuade people to be better, cleaner consumers of soap. 48

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CI had to influence public ideas about hygiene, sanitation, pollution, and purity in order to change social perceptions about what is appropriate a nd respectable. In order to make its complex industrial infrastructure persist and expand, CI had to make soap a philosophical viability. CI e ndorsed these rituals as purifiers of non-relig ious pollutions. Being a better worker because of cleanness, confidence, attractiveness, alertness, and energy was good for workers who became more eligible for promotion and good for owners who could profit from increased pr oductivity. CI was in the business of fabricating pollution and purity beliefs and ri tuals. Douglas show s how these kinds of beliefs are apparent in the morals and social fabric of a group: certain moral values are upheld and certain social rules defined by beliefs in dangerous contagion."77 Disease is a really big part of what makes handwashing a convincing argument. Germ theory revolutionized what we consider healthy and pure.78 Interpretations of the causes and conditions of malady, tragedy, or ev en blind bad luck were to be dominated by pathogenicity and not by religion, magic, or sorcery. Hand washing could save lives where prayers, blessings, and offerings could not. Douglas' idea of dirt brings out some interesting aspects of this transition to the dominance of secular scie nce. Douglas points out that dirt or disorder signifies a whole system of classifying the universe.79 Secular 77 Douglas. P. 4. 78 There are two notable differences between our contemporary European ideas of defilement and those, say, of primitive cultures. One is that dirt avoidance for us is a matter of hygiene or aesthetics and is not related to our religion. The second difference is that our idea of dirt is dominated by the knowledge of pathogenic organisms. The bacterial transmission of di sease was a great nineteenth-century discovery. It produced the most radical revolution in the history of medicine. So much has it transformed our lives that it is difficult to think of dirt except in the context of pathogenicity. Yet obviously our ideas of dirt are not so recent. We must be able to make the effort to think back beyond the last 15 0 years and to analyse the bases of dirt-avoidance, before it was transformed by bacteriology; for example, before spitting deftly into a spittoon was counted unhygienic. (Douglas, P. 44) 79 Douglas. P. 45. 49

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campaigns like CIs do affect the foundational metaphysical be liefs in a society. Religion is not merely abstract theology and the secular is not merely physical objectivity. CI produced and disseminated millions of pages of literature. When taken together this corpus is impressive for its size and its scope. The Cleanliness Journal which for posterity and ease of research is preserved in a single bound volume resembles a holy book filled with the litanies of cleanlin ess and soap. CI published books for kids, teens, illiterate adults, e ducated adults, unemployed a dults, immigrants, promotion seeking adults, single adults, married adults, religious adults and skeptical adults. CI produced pamphlets, games, worksheets, pos ters, charts, pictures, slides, diagrams, lectures, and all kinds of ad-copy to appear in other print sources like magazines and newspapers. This kind of outreach for the sake of sales is remarkable. These efforts sought to educate American s about the dangers of avoiding soap and the benefits of embracing it. In this way marketers and advertisers served as mediators between common people who earned wages a nd consumed goods and the good life of wealthy and prosperous socialite s. By framing social relati onships with discussions of purity, cleanliness, and hygiene, CI sketched a picture of reality that showed people how to live successfully. Seeing the American populace in doubt and hesitation about the changes in culture arriving on the backs of cap italist industrial enterprise, CI stepped in and addressed common concerns about a modern izing U.S.A. Much like a priest or a minister, the ad-writers and marketing di rectors interpreted th e universe and gave common individuals a digested and easy to follow plan of action. The protocol of rituals championed by CI ev en included a sort of altar of worship: the wash basin, the sink, or the bathroom. Th ese infrastructural changes did not appear 50

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out of thin air. They relied upon man power purchasing power, access to resources, and the conscious wish to implement them into social culture in order to become realized realities in the U.S. This shift in behavior and infrastructure is th e same sort of change that goes on during religious c onversion. Early settlers and co lonizers in North America were once a part of the developing world, just like the native Africans at the center of the missionary cause, but as newly engineered industry, commerce, and economy expanded, Americans converted from pre-industrial pur ity beliefs and rituals to the modern foundations of todays obsessive antibacterial clean. The na tive Africans were dealing the same pressure to change their be havior during their encounter with BC. Living with missionaries and learning the skills, habits, and beliefs of Protestants from the U.S. was a challenging endeavor for indigenous Africans. Many indigenous beliefs were turned inside out to suit the new standards. In order to make their elaborate psychological religion to stick in place, BC also had to trai n the physical b ody to labor, produce, and exchange. In these efforts, BC converted so-called primitive peoples into economic agents.80 CI sought to solidify ideas about the dangers of dirt and the benefits of cleanliness. They did this in order to increase soap sales. Missionaries sought to instill physical cleanliness alongside faith as a si gn of its sincere internalization. This underlying motivational difference set CI's actio ns apart from the actions of explicitly Christian missionaries, even when they bot h used such similar methods and sought 80 Without these activities, classical economists would have considered Africans less than human. For example, Adam Smith argued that, the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another. Whether this propensity be one of those original principles in human nature of which no further account can be given; or whether, as seems more probable, it be the necessary consequences of the faculties of reason and speech, it belongs not to our present subject to inquire. It is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. Penguin Books, New York: 1982. P. 117-8. 51

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similar conversions during their outreach pr ograms. In Rhodesia, although BCs goal was to bring ignorant heathens to Christ, they relied on the ha bituation of specific purity beliefs and rituals that served as outward ma rkers for the sincere inner spiritual progress to God. In Material Christianity American religious historian Colleen McDannell argues that materiality is common in U.S. Christian ity, and these findings are applicable to BC. McDannell challenges the Durkheimian dichot omy of the transcendent and separate sacred, and the utilitarian and everyday profane.81 McDannell uses her own case studies to show how Christians mix the sacred with the secular: Christians, of assorted types, continu ously mix the supernatural, God, miracles, ethical concerns, and prayer together with family, commerce, everyday worries, fashion, and social relationships. The mate rial dimension of Christianity shuttles back and forth so frequently between what scholars call the sacred and the profane that the usefulness of the categories disputed.82 When BC focuses on physical cl eanliness and hygiene as a si gn of faith it is mixing the mundane with the sacred. The fact that missionaries interpre t the material dimensions of life as sacred does not profane religion, but it does point to the incompleteness of the mutually exclusive sacred/profane dichotomy. Part of BCs mission extended far be yond theological contemplation. The physical rituals of consumption make up an im portant part of BCs religious enterprise. While prayer and faith were the central mo tivation of Davidson and the other Brethren missionaries, BC spent a lot of time and ener gy convincing Africans that western modes of production and civilization were superior to indigenous social structures. Where natives took to free time after securing subs istence, BC sought to instill ambitious work 81 McDannell. P. 4. 82 McDannell. P. 8. 52

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ethic and uproot laziness. BC sought to teach skills and re sponsibility to Africans, allowing them better chances in colonized cities to earn wages and buy modern products and the civil ideals they commodify. While the missionaries consider conversion a primarily psychological shift, it also includes changing the overall qua lity of practical mundane lif e. If faith were the only thing to be affected the missionaries woul d not have labored to instill habits of cleanliness, hygiene, dress, labor, farming, building, or education. Religion defines rituals and gives them meani ng. The rituals that depend on these physical things like soap, shirts, tools, crops, houses, and school s are part of the Brethrens Christian Religion. Religion can be considered a potent social force because it exists in the material world as well as in mind. The goal of industrialists a nd parishioners alike was to civilize the continent of Africa. Cecil Rhodes, a remarkable coloni alist, the founder of the De Beers diamond magnate, and the same Rhodes as in Rhodesia, referred to missionari es as better than policemen, and cheaper." 83 As the only western influe nce penetrating much of Africas tribal landscape, missionaries were valuable sources of information about local communities for colonizers in the port city strongholds, and they helped maintain conquested land. The education offered by missionaries was helpful to the western conquest of Africa in more ways than mere policing. Missionaries taught natives western language, customs, expectations, skills, and work ethic. Considering missionaries like policemen is in interesting correl ation with CIs use of Policing the Mouth, as a slogan designed to increase aw areness and vigilance in the 83 Davidson. P. 49. 53

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transmission of communicable disease. Fo r CI, suffering and death were not the only reasons to avoid illness. S ecular concerns, like making it to work, not being a burden on others, keeping them away from work, and advancing civilization, were also primary reasons to carefully police against compromises of cleanliness. CI considered how public servants rese mbled professionals of religion in the advice they gave concerning public health inju nctions. Moses receives a mention in this example offered by a Chicago health commissi oner who also recites a passage from the Biblical Book of Leviticus: As early as the time of Moses, sanitary measures with regard to food and habits were considered of paramount importance . "And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire; and as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof. Leviticus 7:19." 84 It is very interesting that this quotati on was made by a public servant. There are countless priests and preachers th at have cast similar injunctions in private, if not from the pulpit. But CI went with a city health official to include a Bible verse. That he would bring up religion speaks to the power and legi timacy of Christianity in U.S. society. Health Commissioners are just as concerned for the physical health and well-being of citizens as their missionary counterparts. Douglas brings up a simila r point regarding the invers e of this resemblance. Germ theory and theological justification bot h protect individuals from the dangers of dirt. But this does not mean that public hea lth and religious purity are interchangeable. The two institutions maintain a definite difference of approach and motivation. Douglas argues that Moses should not be considered a health administrator despite the practical 84 Arnold H. Kegel, M.D., Commissione r of Health, Chicago, Ill. "Towar d a Cleaner America: Leaders in Health, School, and Social Work Point Out Goals to Be Reached Through Better Practice of Cleanliness." CJ Vol. 3, No. 4. (July 1930) P. 3. 54

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similarities.85 Douglas maintains that public serv ants should not be confused with religious clergy while rec ognizing their similarities. Here Douglas upholds the distinction between the sacred and the secu lar, but not between the sacred and the profane. Religion is a social reality. Douglas ar gues that ritual is the root of social realities: As a social animal, man is a ritual animal. If ritual is suppressed in one form it crops up in others, more str ongly the more intense the social interaction. Without the letters of condolence, telegrams of congratulations and even occasional postcards, the friendship of a separated fr iend is not a social reality. It has no existence without the rites of friendship. Social rituals create a reality which would be nothing without them. It is not t oo much to say that ritual is more to society than words are to thought. For it is very possible to know something and then find words for it. But it is impossi ble to have social relations without symbolic acts.86 Religion cannot be considered merely ment al, psychological, theo logical, metaphysical, philosophical, or immaterial. Religion take s on the responsibility of structuring the universe on a grand scale with theology in the same way it gives society structure on a more modest but livable day-to-d ay scale with ritual. Soap is a part of the Christianity just like hermeneutics because it makes the religion a social force. Commodities like soap and plumbing get wrapped up with religion. Mores about work, earnings, wages, buying power, consumption, affluence, quality of life, work ethic, and laziness get wrapped up with religion, too. BC sought to change the pre-existing conceptions of these topics to suit western ideals, helping Africans to take part in the 85 It is true that there can be a marvellous correspo ndence between the avoidance of contagious disease and ritual avoidance. The washings and separations which serve the one practical purpose may be apt to express religious themes at the same time. So it has been argued that their rule of washing before eating may have given the Jews immunity in plagues. But it is one thing to point out the side benefits of ritual actions, and another thing to be content with using the by-products as a sufficient explanation. Even if some of Moses's dietary rules were hygienically beneficial, it is a pity to treat him as an enlightened public health administrator, rather than as a spiritual leader (Douglas. P. 36-7.). 86 Douglas. P. 77-8. 55

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modern economy and modes of production of civilization. Religious campaigns like BCs do affect the foundational secular and economic activities in a society. Douglas approach points to the fact that although cleanliness across cultures can be drastically different in the details, that the general function of the systems in place are quite comparable. She argues that social a nd cultural understandings of dirt transcend the dichotomies of sacred and secular, primitive and modern: If uncleaness is matter out of place, we must approach it through order. Uncleanness or dirt is that which must not be included if a pattern is to be maintained. To recognise this is the firs t step towards insight into pollution. It involves us in no clear-cut distinction between sacred and secular. The same principle applies throughout. Furtherm ore, it involves no special distinction between primitives and moderns: we are all subject to the same rules. But in the primitive culture the rule of patterning works with greater force and more total comprehensiveness. With the moderns it ap plies to disjointed, separate areas of existence.87 Common conceptions about religion and the secular are incomplete. Despite being motivated by secular profit, CI still behave d like a categorical religion. Despite the ultimate goal of saving souls, BC used and embraced material lessons familiar to secular and profane organizations. These findings do not mean that secular and sacred are identical or interchangeable, but that organizations deserve closer inspection and deeper discussion of the convoluted interacti ons between these stale categories. 87 Douglas. P. 50. 56

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Conclusion: Patronized by the Elect! Mark Twains humorous 1889 novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court contains a few pages that inspired this thesis.88 In those pages Hank, the yankee, describes his plan to civili ze, clean, and free medieval Britain from the cruel and domineering antiquities of the Church, its re ligion, and knight errant ry with soap. The ensuing sales campaign employed knights as traveling soap peddler s wearing large and awkward signs gilded with gaudy slogans. Upon hearing that his industrially produced soap has killed a religious ascetic hermit duri ng a public exhibition, Hank is struck with a genius sales pitch: We will put on your bulletin-board, Patronized by the Elect.' How does that strike you?" Verily, it is wonderly bethought! Well, a body is bound to admit that for just a modest little one-line ad., its a corker.89 In his day, Twain recognized the tension be tween religious and s ecular organizations. The funny slogan plays off this contention. Hank uses Calvins doctrine of predestination and election to sell soap. The sly accuracy of this slogan is remarkable. A corker, indeed. This fictional tale of using relig ion to sell secular soap became a reality in Twains time. This slogan anticipates mark eting strategies of modern soap producers by decades. The connection between soap ads and theo logy is not tenuous. Soap is a gateway to discussions about purity and social beliefs an d rituals. Purity is one strategy of giving the universe meaning. It is significant b ecause it connects the immaterial with the tangible. Purity connects th e philosophy of religion with th e reality of life. These discussions, particularly in medieval times, were dominated by reli gious injunctions and the whims of the church. These days it is not so. Secular, non-reli gious, concerns from 88 These pages can be found in the Appendix II. 89 Twain, Mark. The Complete Works of Mark Twain; volume 5: A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthurs Court Harper and Brothers, New York. P. 127-131. 57

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science and sanitation to capit alist industry and targeted marketing have weighed in, heavily tipping the scales away from religion. Today cleanliness is profoundly sacred and s ecular. Purity is praised in sermons and radio-spots. This does not mean that th e sacred is necessarily the same thing as the secular. They overlap in practice, but the practitioners differ in motivation. Soap shows how the secular is both sacred and profane, and how religion is both cosmic and worldly. The way both of these organizations persua de the adoption of this specific sudsy purity ritual and build moral meaning into the consumption of soap is unique and remarkable. Capitalist economics and Prot estant religion are both trying to update cleanliness standards to the 20th century. What makes this comparison such a compelling topic is that while their motiva tions are separate a nd different, the two organizations bear a lot of resemblances b ecause they borrow methods from each other, agree and cooperate, and bl eed into each other. This project is contemporarily relevant because campaigns like CIs are still going on today. Unilever, a member of CIs parent association, the American Association of Soap and Glycerine Producers, launched a soap, germ, and handwashing awareness campaign in India this decade. Swasthya Chetna, or the health awakening, was a five year effort from 2002-2007 sponsored by Lifebuoy soap.90 Lifebuoy reached into rural areas using ads, roving movie vans, samp les, demonstrations, medical practitioners, and school teachers.91 An effective and intuitive demonstration using Glowgerms and a UV lamp showed how washing with soap was better than just rinsing with water. A main concern was fighting fatal diarrhea in ch ildren, and other contag ious intestinal and respiratory diseases. Unilever reports this campaign was a success, as it directly reached 120 million people across more than 50,000 villages in seven states; and Awareness of 90 Lifebuoy Launches Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna. Hindustan Unilever Limited. http://www.hul.co.in/mediacentre/r elease.asp?fl=2002/PR_ HLL_050902.htm. Acce ssed 13 April 2009. 91Lifebuoys Swasthya Chetna Initiative. Business Insights International. http://www.businessinsights.biz/Business%20Insig hts%20International/Business%20Updates/lifebuoys%2 0swasthya%20chetna%20initiative.htm. Accessed 13 April 2009. 58

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germs has increased by 30% and soap use has increased among 79% of parents and among 93% of children in the areas targete d. Soap consumption has increased by 15%.92 The way secular campaigns like Swasthya Ch etna and CI re-shape indigenous purity beliefs and rituals is an interesting to pic in the study of co mparative religions. Advertising and marketing are a lot like proselytizing and missionizing. Economists, marketers, and advertisers have previously studied the popularization of soap in the U.S. Scholars of religion, history, and anthropology have previously highlighted the role of mental and bodily purity in Christian missions. In this thesis, I have combined these findings in a way that recognizes the differences and similarities of the two approaches. This comparison provide s another angle to examine the relationship between sacred and secular practices, includ ing those labeled religious and economic. As a student of religion, I have learned about the important significance of rituals and beliefs. Purity is one the bedrocks of community. The boundaries between purity and impurity get defined by groups and the institu tions that are a part of them. Ideas like clean, dirty, hygienic, diseased, safe, dangerous, cursed, and pr otected all get defined and wrapped up in social significance. CI offered many examples of how it used the sacred and the religious to make soap more appealing to consumers. This final example is taken from a childrens educational book published by CI, and shows how the institute used religion as a marketing strategy, infusing the modern commod ity of soap with virtue, ethics, social mores, and morals, for the sake of profit: Just as Moses proclaimed of old, so our publ ic health officials tell us to keep our bodies, our clothes, our ho mes, our food and our surr oundings clean. Moses 92 Hands-on Help. Unilever. http://www.unilever.com/sustainability /reports/news/february-2009-handson-help.aspx; Encouraging good hygiene. WPP Corporate Responsibility Report. http://www.wpp.com/corporateresponsibilityreports/2 007/impact/cr_clientwork/case_studies/lifebuoy_indi a.html. Accessed 13 April 2009. 59

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made the bath a symbol, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. After 3,000 years can we do better?93 From CIs perspective, soap is the only advancement in bathing and cleaning since Moses time. Here CI blurs the distinc tion between mundane rituals and religious salvation. In this project, I examined distinctio ns between the profane and the sacred, as well as the sacred the secular. In their marketing strategi es and missionary efforts, both the Cleanliness Institute and the Brothers of Christ blur the boundaries of sacred and secular. As a commodity, social pressure, and sign of election, soap has proven to be a slippery artifact to get a hold of, and I hope that these chapters have washed away some of the misconceptions about th e sacred, profane, secular, and religious in contemporary academic discussions of religion. 93 Hallock, Grace T. A Tale of Soap and Water: The Historical Progress of Cleanliness Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1928. p. 20. 60

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Appendix I: Changing Cleanliness Standards in the U.S., 19th-century 1920s Spurred by disease, wars, industry, death, and growing cities, cleanliness standards changed from those common for hundreds of years of rural farm life to incorporate modern advancements such as plumbing and private bathrooms that could service densely populated cities. Unde rstandings of dirt, disease, and contagion changed. As people adopted the new rituals and their reperc ussions they effectivel y converted to this new way of life. Social and physical infr astructures changed i rrecognizably, almost incommensurably. Mundane things about li fe like water gatheri ng, living situations, cooking, cleaning, laboring, subsisting, and in teracting socially were revolutionized. Some of the efforts to catalyse a cleaner U.S.A. resembled religious events. A campaign against hookworm traveled around the U.S.A.: In 1909 the Rockefeller Foundation announced the formation of the Sani tary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm.94 Seen as a germ of laziness rather than a sanitation problem, the Sanitary Commission placed their faith in the gospel of the sanitary privy to halt the spread of hookworm.95 The Sanitary Commission traveled to different communities and states, spending several weeks show ing off exhibits, giving lectures and presentations, and tutoring locals with ha nds-on examples. As the hookworm campaign progressed through the southern states, it began to resemble a religious revival. Large, poor families journeyed long distances to hear how they could be saved from the ravages of disease.96 In the wide-spread attention th ey garnered and the sacrifice people undertook in order to attend and internalize the messages, thes e public health tours were like traveling Christian revivals. But instea d of spreading the gospe ls, revitalizing faith, 94 Hoy. P. 130. 95 Ibid. 96 Hoy. P. 131. 61

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renewing promises to God, and saving souls, the commission spread secular wisdom, scientific cleanliness healthful hygiene, and the benefits of more potent work ethic. Wars made public sanitation imperative. Florence Nightingales efforts in British hospitals during the Crimean War (1850s) quick ly became famous and sacrosanct, even in USA, a place Nightingale never visited. Her popularity was helped by the efforts of CI. We all know the thrilling story of Flor ence Nightingale as a nurse in the Crimean War.97 She inspired women the world over to the callings of nursing and healthful cleanliness as a way to aid and support their communities, nations, and general welfare. During the hardships of war it became obvious that cleanliness and sanitation could not be considered minor priorities. When the number of deaths from illness and deplorable living conditions outnumbered the casualties of battle cleanliness started to receive more attention, though the road to modern sanitation and hygiene was long and arduous. The Mexican-American War of 1846-48 highlighted the depths to which poor conditions could endanger troops. Inade quacies of war-time sanitation in America allowed more soldiers to die from disease th an from combat. According to an official army history of the Medical Department, of the more than 100,000 soldiers who had left the United States to fight in Mexico, over 1,500 had been killed in action but more than 10,000 had died of disease.98 Despite this evidence not much action was taken until the Civil War. The Civil War would force yankees and rebe ls alike to come face to face with the hardships of disease during soldier life. In the North commissions of sanitation were created, mobilizing inspectors, regulations, and countless lo cals to the causes of makeshift hospitals caring for soldiers and the production, cleaning, and repairing of clothing. Cooking, sewage, and the dead also soaked up as much attention and labor as 97 Hallock, Grace T. A Tale of Soap and Water: The Historical Progress of Cleanliness Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1928. P. 71. 98 Hoy. P. 140. 62

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was available. In the South there was no commission and little funding, but women, slaves, and supporters rallied around av ailable resources in similar ways.99 After these wars some of the inst itutions persisted and public sanitation, especially in crowded cities, grew as a prior ity. Cities and states passed legislation that made health codes and enforced them for the first time. Clean and abundant water supplies were central challenges. Plum bing moved indoors, freeing up the time spent hauling water, but also raising the expectati ons of cleanliness. When water became more reliable the focus on cleanliness began to shif t towards personal habits of hygiene. The change in focus from public sanitati on to personal hygiene was a big shift.100 As America industrialized a national ma rketplace grew out from factories and railways that revolutionized manufacturing and commerce. With the new mechanical technologies, centralized national or regiona l companies could successfully compete with local manufacturers with cheaper, better products: Modern soap made its appearance with the development of vegetable oils in the mid-nineteenth century. When employed in combination with animal fats, these oils eliminated the problem of perishability. Molding the improved product into cakes to facilitate transport, the manufacturer began to explore the possibilities of regional marketing, to develop a bra nd distinguishable from others, and to seek the support of consumers at the cash register. The growth of the trade presaged the national marketplace.101 While recognition and credibility were at first obstacles to swaying consumers to break with their favorite local produc ts, technological efficiencies could drastically cut costs and thus could undercut competition. Pos itive breakthroughs in quality also pleased users. When homes would make their own soap it was used less often and the quality was more erratic, sometimes physically harshe r and less pleasant. Modern soap was in many ways an advancement beyond its predece ssors and people genuinely liked using it. 99 Hoy. P. 46-57. 100 Hoy. P. 57-86. 101 Vinikas, Vincent. Soft Soap, Hard Sell: American Hygiene in an Age of Advertisement Iowa State University Press, Ames: 1992. P. 80. 63

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Another piece of social in frastructure that fostered and trumpeted the progresses of civilization was media. The growth of magazine readership inundated a growing portion of the population with advertising. A remarkable change within the magazine industry greatly popularized and increased read ership: convincing ad-buyers to foot the majority of the cost of publication allowed publ ishers to pass the savings on to readers in the form of below-cost magazines.102 Sales skyrocketed and advertising boomed. Radios were a wild success as well, providing another medium to persuade consumers and spread messages and ideas about society and culture. Entertainment and news that attracted listeners was deeply entwined with the advertisem ents that funded programs. The ads and their influence were not always eas y to distinguish amidst the program itself. Publishers sell marketers access to the attenti on of the readers in order to sell stuff. These transitioning technologies of commerce guided by capitalism trumpeted modern progress towards evermore civiliza tion. Soap is so interesting because cleanliness is such an important aspect of life. Sanctions of purity, or adversely impurity, take their place in social mores. Modern so ap combines all the issues of labor, liberty, economics, and religion. Selling modern soap sanctioned capitalis t modes of production in addition to sanitation and hygiene, despite th e fact that this conn ection rarely made it into ad-copy. What makes soap more modern is th e mode of production. Modern soap came from cities carried on the shoulders of modern manufacturing and labor. Soap is already a good location for discussing cultural idea s about cleanliness a nd the marks of high civilization, and as the availabi lity of the product widened th is discussion increased with the force of more and more participants. As production improved, advertising received more attention in order to actually sell and pr ofit more efficiently from the vast quantities of soap that modern technology made possible. 102 Vinikas. P. 6-7. 64

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The literature of advertising and othe r types of educational propaganda carry assumptions about society. The propagation of these materials influences the course of society. Soap is important because it is a highly advertised commodity that plays so intensely off of the social relationships of i ndividuals. It truly sells civilization of a certain kind. Buying soap supports progress and also teaches us how we bring that progress directly into our lives. Other technological advancements brought by increasingly modern industry were cleaner in themselves. Paved roads, elec tric domestic appliances, and machine aided labor were all cleaner than their alternatives, dirt roads, kerosene lamps, coal stoves, and shovels, respectively. These improvements were viewed as short-term setbacks to be overcome by soap manufacturers because they decreased the need for and consumption of soap. After several decades of success selling soap in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, by the 1920s the decrease in ge neral dirtiness in America was decreasing sales.103 As the country became cleaner than ever before, manufacturers had to dig up dirt.104 Dealing with these obstacles to increasing sales forged a relationship among soap producers. Previous to this transition in the industry, companies sought to stimulate specific demand for their type of soap agai nst some other competing type of soap. Afterwards they decided to focus thei r energy and budget on general soap-and-water hygiene. Ivory was no longer competing with Sapolio. Soap producers as a whole were 103 The decline in demand it hoped to avert was probab ly attributable to a net drop in dirtiness in America. Based on a study he undertook in 1926, Walter B. Pitkin asserted that the automobile and the paving of streets were especially responsible. The old dirt road was dusty in dry weather, muddy when wet, messing up homes, draperies, furniture, clothing and all sorts of things that had to be washed. As the filth and mire of road dirt and horseback dwindled, so did demand for cleansers. Changes in home technologies also threatened the soap market in the 1920s. Replacing the kerosene lamp and coal stove with light bulb and range sharply reduced the soot and muck of everyday life. A primary reason Americans ripped up the carpet to lay linoleum or tile in the twenties was to cut down on cleaning. Paper napkins and tablecloths were discarded rather than washed. Another by-product of the machine age was the cleaner condition of the worker coming off his shift. Inventions that saved labor incidentally served hygiene. Vinikas. P. 82-3. 104 Vinikas. P. 83. 65

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competing in the capitalist "Dollar Democr acy" against the likes of the cosmetics industry and even the commercial laundry i ndustry. This "new competition" was the impulse behind trade associations that sprang up in many industries. "Essentially the new competition involved a shift from product co mpetition within an industry to want competition between industries."105 The beautifying effects of soap had help ed to popularize it in the minds of Americans at the turn of the 20th century. Wh en cosmetics specialized to enhance beauty arrived on the scene it made a big impact on the consumption of soap. This kind of competition spurred soap producers to take action. 105 Vinikas. P. 84. 66

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Appendix II: Excerpt Mark Twains A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court Chapter 16. As we [Hank and a stranger] approached each other, I saw that he wore a plumed helmet, and seemed to be otherwise clothed in steel, but bore a cu rious addition also--a stiff square garment like a heralds tabar d. However, I had to smile at my own forgetfulness when I got nearer and read this sign on his tabard: Persimmon's SoapAll the Prime-Donna Use It. That was a little idea of my own, and had several wholesome purposes in view toward the civilizing and (128) upl ifting of this nation. In the first place, it was a furtive, underhand blow at this nonsense of knight errantry, though nobody suspected that but me. I had started a number of these peopl e outthe bravest knight s I could geteach sandwiched between bulletin-board s bearing one device or anot her, and I judged that by and by when they got to be numerous enough they would begin to look ridiculous; and then, even the steel-clad ass that hadnt any board would himself begin to look ridiculous because he was out of fashion. Secondly these missionaries would gradua lly, and without creating suspicion or exciting alarm, introduce a rudimentary clea nliness among the nobility, and from them it would work down to the people, if the priests could be kept quiet. This would undermine the Church. I mean would be a step toward that. Next, education--next, freedom--and then she would begin to crumbl e. It being my conviction th at any Established church is an established crime, an established slavepen, I had no scruples, but was willing to assail it in any way or with any weapon that promised to hurt it. Why, in my own former day-in remote centuries not yet stirring in the wo mb of time--there were old Englishmen who imagined that they had been born in a free country: a free country with the Corporation Act and the Test still in force in it-timbers propped against mens liberties and dishonored consciences to shore up an Established Anachronism with. 67

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My missionaries were taught to spell out the gilt signs on their tabards--the showy gilding was a neat (129) idea, I could have got the king to wear a bulletin-board for the sake of that barbaric splendor-they were to spell out these signs and then explain to the lords and ladies what soap was; and if the lords and ladies were afraid of it, get them to try it on a dog. The missionarys next move was to get the family together and try it on himself; he was to stop at no experiment, however desperate, th at could convince the nobility that soap was harmless; if any fina l doubt remained, he must catch a hermit--the woods were full of them; saints they called th emselves, and saints they were believed to be. They were unspeakably holy, and work ed miracles, and everybody stood in awe of them. If a hermit could survive a wash, a nd that failed to convince a duke, give him up, let him alone. Whenever my missionaries overcame a knight errant on the road they washed him, and when he got well they swore him to go and get a bulletin-board and disseminate soap and civilization the rest of his days. As a consequence the workers in the field were increasing by degrees, and the reform was st eadily spreading. My soap factory felt the strain early. At first I ha d only two hands; but before I had left home I was already employing fifteen, and running night and day; and the atmospheric re sult was getting so pronounced that the king went sort of fain ting and gasping around and said he did not believe he could stand it much longer, and Sir Launcelot got so that he did hardly anything but walk up and down the roof a nd swear, although I told him it was worse up there than anywhere else, but he said (130) he wanted plenty of air; and he was always complaining that a palace was no place for a soap factory anyway, and said if a man was to start one in his house he would be damned if he wouldnt strangle him. There were ladies present, too, but much these people ev er cared for that; they would swear before children, if the wind was their way when the factory was going. This missionary knight's name was La Co te Male Taile, and he said that this castle was the abode of Morgan le Fay, sister of King Arthur, and wife of King Uriens, 68

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monarch of a realm about as big as the Di strict of Columbia-you could stand in the middle of it and throw bricks into the next kingdom. Kings and Kingdoms were as thick in Britain as they had been in little Palestine in Jos huas time, when people had to sleep with their knees pulled up because they couldnt stretch out without a passport. La Cote was much depressed, for he had scored here the worst failure of his campaign. He had not worked off a cake; yet he had tried all the tricks of the trade, even to the washing of a hermit; but the hermit died. This was, indeed, a bad failure, for this animal would now be dubbed a martyr, and would take his place among the saints of the Roman calendar. Thus made he his moan, this poor Sir La Cote Male Taile, and sorrowed passing sore. And so my heart bled for him, and I was moved to comfort and stay him. Wherefore I said: Forbear to grieve, fair kni ght, for this is not a defeat. We have brains, you and I; and for such as have brains there are no de feats, but only victories. (131) Observe how we will turn this seeming disaster into an advertisement; an advertisement for our soap; and the biggest one, to draw, that was ever thought of; an advertisement that will transform that Mount Washington defeat into a Matterhorn victory. We will put on your bulletin-board, Patronized by the Elect.' How does that strike you? Verily, it is wonderly bethought! Well, a body is bound to admit that for ju st a modest little one-line ad., its a corker. 106 106 Twain, Mark. The Complete Works of Mark Twain; Volu me 5: A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthurs Court Harper and Brothers, New York. P. 127-131. 69

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Appendix III : Hanna Davidson describes life for lo cals in rural Rhode sia in a chapter called The Native. There are three natives in our nearest vi llage, all able-bodie d men of about 40 or 45 years of age. Two of them have four wive s and one has three. Si nce the hut tax is ten shillings a hut, that means that one must pa y thirty shillings (nearly $7.50) tax per year, and the other two forty shillings (nearly $10). They are all intellig ent-looking natives. Two of them have been government messenge rs and know something of European life. Now they are at home year after year, for they seldom go away to work, because they are too lazy. How they secure their hut tax is often a query, and about the only solution that seems possible is that they beg some here and some there of natives who go away to work, and they may occasionally have a little grain to sell. Often they are short of food for themselves and their families. One of them at least has had his family out on the veldt, living on fruit and roots and what game he could procure, for two months at a time. These are extreme cases, and one must feel sorry for the women and children when crops fail, for they at least cannot go among the Europeans for work. The natives differ greatly among themselves in diligence and training as well as in character and morality. While there are alwa ys some improvident ones, who live on the charity of their neighbors, yet some are ex ceedingly industrious the entire year. After their grain has been cared for they go to the towns to work and earn money, buy cattle and sheep, and in general enrich themselv es. Workers in wood are always busy making articles to sell to their neighbors, and othe r artisans do likewise. The women also show the same difference of character. Some are always busy and forehanded with their gardens, their grass cutting, and cutting and car rying firewood to stow it away before the rains come. The same difference is to be found in the training of families. In some of the homes the children are well trained along industrial lines, according to the native idea of training. The parents require them to work and bear a 70

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certain amount of responsibility in providing for the family and in caring for the herds. For instance, a number of our best boys came from a village called Mianda. They proved very helpful and skillful in work and becam e some of our best builders and teachers. Their parents were generally considerate wh en we had dealings with them. Sometimes we had as many as ten boys at once from that one small village, and the father of some would even help to see about his herds so that his children might attend school. If a boy was needed at home to help build or herd, th e father would tell for just how long he was needed, and we might be sure that he woul d send the boy back at the expiration of that time. The children of this village were requi red to be obedient and work while at home, otherwise they were denied food. There were other similar homes. In the villages, even before Christianity enters, the natives look upon some of the customs of their tribes in various ways. Where there are large villages and many people, dances and carousals are frequent occurrences and much immorality results. Some of the parents forbid their children frequenting these places of amusement on account of the immorality. Again, from some villages boys would come to the mission, stay only a few days and then leave, because they were obliged to perform a certain amount of work daily. We did not try to coax them to remain, for we preferred to keep only those who were willing to workthe others seldom amount to anythi ng. Go into the houses of some such boys, and one would see them lying about, not w illing to herd, much less dig. Perhaps the father will say, Go and see about those sheep." The boy pays no attention to the command. The mother comes and scolds him and seeks to make him work, but with no better result; yet when food is prepared he is the first one to be around the pot and no one forbids him. From these instances it can be readily seen that Afri can family training does not differ materially from European or American. In many of the villages there are always some who desire to improve themselves and better their conditions. Th ey have their gardens, but, work as they may with their primitive little hoes, they cannot make much headway; or there may be a drought and 71

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famine is the result. They go away and work for a time, and come home with a supply of clothing and some money. They come to th eir dirty homes and filthy surroundings, and their friends and relatives try to get as mu ch of their clothing and money as possible. They gradually become more and more sordid in appearance, their clothing disappears, and we become disgusted with them for so soon leaving behind the outward marks of civilization. But how many months could we live their home life and be presentable in appearance? Let us take Charlie as an example. He with a number of other boys, went to Southern Rhodesia to work on a farm. He rema ined a year and received fifteen shillings ($3.60) per month, and he had to pay his way down and back on the train. He came home at the end of the year with a nice supply of new clothing and some money, and he looked as clean and well-dressed as a European when he came to Church on Sunday. He is a Christian boy and is trying to do what is righ t. Soon after his return home, his father, who is one of the three lazy men I mentioned, and extremely filthy in appearance, began wearing Charlie's clothes. First it was a shir t and a piece of calico; then another garment; then his nice grey coat. Charlie gave his litt le naked brother one of his shirts. He wished to marry, and this took all of his money. In a few months he presented quite a different appearance from what he did on his return home from Bulawayo, and we began to blame him, at least in our minds, and say that he s hould not allow himself to degenerate in this way. But most of his clothing is gone and his money is gone; he does not even have sufficient with which to purchase soap, so that he may wash the remaining clothing. Says one, He should keep at work and not come and sit down in his home." The work takes him away from ho me, and his wages are low, so that he must keep at it continually in order to maintain appearances. May he not have any home life at all? It is a perplexing problem, and were we forced to take his place we would no doubt conclude that the boy does remarkably well under the ci rcumstances. While at home he works in his gardens and does what he can find to do fo r the white men near his home; then, as his 72

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needs increase, he again goes to Bulawayo to begin again. This is an actual occurrence and typical of many others. He may concl ude to have no home life, but keep up the semblance of civilization, hang about the to wns, and imitate many evils surrounding him, and in the end prove a greater menace to societ y and to the country than if he would, at least part of the time, live in his own home in a more primitive manner. Again, if he depends too much on the stores of the trad ers, he ceases to manufacture articles for himself, so that if he does finally settle down for himself, tired of the struggle, he is often more helpless than at first, because he cannot make the articles which his father made. 107 107 Davidson. 1915. P. 375-9. 73

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BIBLIOGRAPHY PR IMARY SOURCES Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producer s Incorporated. Soap and Glycerine Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producer s Inc., New York: 1928. Pamphlet. The Cleanliness Crusade. Procter & Gamble. Journal of National Education. Nov. 1926. The Cleanliness Journal. Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1928-1932. Davidson, Hannah. South and South Central Africa: A Record of Fifteen Years' Missionary Labors Among Primitive Peoples. Brethren Publishing House, Elgin, Ill.: 1915. Encouraging good hygiene. WPP Corporate Responsibility Report. http://www.wpp.com/corporateresponsibilityreports/2007/impact/cr_clientwork/case_studies/lifeb uoy_india.html. Accessed 13 April 2009. Goldsmith, Happy. The Strange Case of Mr. Smith: An Amusing Story of a Cold Murder Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1930. Hands-on Help. Unilever. http://www.unilever. com/sustainability/reports/news/february-2009-handson-help.aspx. Accessed 13 April 2009. Handwashing in Schools. School Service, Cl eanliness Institute, New York: 1928. Pamphlet. Hallock, Grace T. After the Rain: Cleanliness Customs of Children in Many Lands School Dept. Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1927. Hallock, Grace T. A Tale of Soap and Water: The Historical Progress of Cleanliness. Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1928. The Holy Bible King James Version. Oxford University Press, London. Hopkins, Mary Alden and Alice Mary Kimball. Judd Family: A Story of Cleanliness in Three Centuries. Illustrated by Warren Chappell. School Se rvice, Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1931. Lifebuoy Launches Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetna. Hindustan Unilever Limited. http://www.hul.co.in/mediacentre/release.asp?fl =2002/PR_HLL_050 902.htm. Accessed 13 April 2009. Lifebuoys Swasthya Chetna Initiative. Business Insights International. http://www.businessinsights.biz/Business%20I nsights%20International/Business%20Updates/life buoys%20swasthy a%20chetna%20initiative.htm. Accessed 13 April 2009. Peter, W.W. Policing the Mouth Cleanliness Institute, New York: 1930. Scadding, Henry. Cleanliness Akin to Godliness. Toronto, 1850. 74

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75 SECONDARY SOURCES Belk, Russell W., Melanie Wallendorf, and John F. Sher ry, Jr. "The Sacred and the Profane in Consumer Behavior: Theodicy on the Odyssey." The Journal of Consumer Research. Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jun., 1989). P. 1-38. Brethren In Chirst website. http://www.bic-church.org/about/history.asp. accessed 4 March 2009. Burke, Timothy. Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: Commodifying Cosmetics in South Africa Duke University Press, Chapel Hill: 2000. Connerly, Jennifer L. Quaker Bonnets and the Erotic Feminine in American Popular Culture. Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief (July 2006) Daly, Catherine. "The Paarda Expression of Hejaab among Afghan Women in a Non-Muslim Community." Linda B. Arthur ed. Oxford and New York: Berg, 1999. Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concept of Pollution and Taboo New York: Routledge, 2002. Originally published in 1966 by Routledge & Kegan Paul. Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life The Free Press, New York: 1965. Eliade, Mircea. The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., New York: 1959 Evenson, Sandra Lee and David J. Trayte. "Dress and Interaction in Contending Cultures: Easter Dakota and Euroamericans in Ninete enth Century Minnesota." Religion, Dress, and the Body Linda B. Arthur ed. Oxford and New York: Berg, 1999 Hoy, Suellen. Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness Oxford University Press, New York: 1995. McDannell, Colleen. Material Christianity: Religion and Popular Culture in America Yale University Press, New Haven: 1995. Olson, Carl. Theory and Method in the Study of Religion: A Selection of Critical Readings Thomson Wadsworth, Toronto: 2003. Poggi, Gianfranco. Calvinism and the Capitalist Spirit: Max Webers Protestant Ethic. The University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst: 1983. Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations Penguin Books, New York: 1982. Tollington, Peter. How soap can avoid the slippery slope. 2004, http://www.allbusiness.com/manufacturing/food -manufacturing-grain-oilseed-milling/3349941.html. accessed 14 March 2009. Twain, Mark. The Complete Works of Mark Twain; volume 5: A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthurs Court Harper and Brothers, New York. Vinikas, Vincent. Soft Soap, Hard Sell: American Hygiene in an Age of Advertisement Iowa State University Press, Ames: 1992. Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, NY: 2003.


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