Wiener Seifenmanufaktur: soap bars
© Wiener Seife

Semmelweis and soap

Ignaz Semmelweis was ahead of his time. He revolutionized medical history with his hygiene theory. Because one things remains certain: Washing and regularly disinfecting your hands helps to prevent infections in a big way. And thus save lives.

The hygiene revolution

But let's start at the beginning. The young Hungarian doctor came to Vienna in the middle of the 19th century, where he worked at the General Hospital. On the doctor-led maternity ward, Semmelweis quickly noticed how a disproportionately large number of mothers succumbed to childbed fever. While on the ward where midwives worked, far fewer women fell sick. Hot on the trail of the phenomenon, he quickly spotted that there were links between the lack of hygiene of the doctors and the mortality rate of the mothers. That is why Semmelweis is still called "the savior of mothers" today.

So hand hygiene was revolutionary back then? Yes, and how! Not only because Semmelweis pilloried his own colleagues but also because he investigated a common practice that had seldom been called into question until then. These tensions frequently led to heated discussions, most of which ended in Semmelweis being dismissed as a screwball and fantasist. Ultimately, following the efforts of his opponents, his contract was not extended in 1849 and he returned to Pest (modern-day Budapest). He never got over the dismissal and rejection of his findings. He died under uncertain circumstances in the Lower Austrian state mental hospital in Döbling, Vienna.  

By the way: In the English-speaking world, Semmelweis has not only made it into the history books but also into the dictionary. The language has the term "Semmelweis reflex". This describes the immediate rejection of a scientific finding or information without conducting one's own deliberations or verifications.

Built on tradition

The soap is available at the store in the 3rd district, at another shop in the 1st district, and of course in the online shop.

Given the current situation, it is more important than ever to pay attention to your hand hygiene. The organic care products of the Wiener Seifenmanufaktur soap company can help with this. In 2006, Sonja Baldauf and her team revived the recipes of the Viennese soap maker Friedrich Weiss, further developed the range of products, and worked on innovations. You can find tried-and-tested classics as well as the occasional curio in the company's on-site store and in the shop in the 3rd district. Who would have thought that you can also clean your teeth with soap?

Viennese Soap (Wiener Seife)

Hintzerstraße 2, 1030 Wien

Viennese Soap (Wiener Seife)

Herrengasse 6-8, 1010 Wien

 

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