All About History

KITTY WILKINSON

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BRITISH, 1786-1860

Nicknamed the ‘saint of the slums’, Kitty Wilkinson is something of a Liverpool legend. Raised in extreme poverty, she spent much of her life caring for the needy, one of who gifted her a mangle – a machine used to wring water from wet laundry. During the 1832 Cholera epidemic, this machine was used to save many lives, as Kitty encouraged people to use her machine to clean their sheets, and showed them the importance of cleanlines­s. In 1842, due to her efforts, the first public baths and wash house was opened, and Kitty was named their superinten­dent.

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