Domesticating Water: Gender, Class, and Environment in the Household Wash, 1849–1919

Lunchtime Lectures
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Science History Institute
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

Join us for a talk by Alexandra Straub, Cain Dissertation Fellow at the Science History Institute.

Details on this talk will be available soon.

About the Speaker


Alexandra Straub Photo

Alexandra Straub.

Alexandra Straub is a historian of environment, science, and technology. Her dissertation, “Making Water Pure: A History of Water Softening from Potash to Tide,” explores the history of chemical and mechanical water softening. Her research traces the evolution from homemade chemical remedies of the 19th century to an increasingly complex and specialized water-softening industry that served both industrial and domestic needs. An exploration of water softening in both the domestic and industrial arenas illuminates the regularity and uniformity of environmental control in some unsuspected spaces, such as the belly of a locomotive, a textile plant, and a woman’s washtub.

Alexandra is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Temple University. She has received dissertation support from Hagley Museum and Library and the Center for the Humanities at Temple University.

About the Series

Lunchtime Lectures are a series of (mostly) weekly, informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of the Institute staff and fellows and interested members of the public.