Thursday, May 19, 2011

Laundry! ( On My Mind)

“In purple fine linen
    My country farmhouse shines,
The purple on the lilacs---
    The linen on the lines.”
                      Fredrick Lawrence Knowles

You can learn a lot about our ancestors if you go to a century farm auction. Imagine the hard life they had.
 Your laundry would be an all day event not a couple of hours. You would have to boil water on your cook stove, haul it to the tubs, and scrub the said clothing on an old washboard with soap you probably made.
 You would be excited to use this new contraption that was going to make your life much easier, and save time. You would not have to twist and wring these clothes by hand.
 You would then proceed to put the wet, soapy clothing through this machine into the rinse water, then swish around. Then in turn wring again, turning the handle slowly into a waiting basket. Then you get to carry it outside and hang it on the lines. Imagine doing this for hours one piece of clothing at a time.
 Just another point do you remember how much more clothing people used to wear?
 Now imagine running down your stairs to your basement throwing a load of laundry in your front loader, put two tablespoons of liquid soap in the top of machine. Push the button, then do what ever you want and come back when the timer goes off.

 Isn’t life wonderful?    Technology!

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  1. My nearest neighbour still washes by hand. We were only chatting about this yesterday. She lives a very frugal life in an old cottage with the loo outside. There no flash kitchen, an old second hand table, and she cooks on a camp stove. All her furniture was bought from thrift stores or acquired at the recycle place. You can see her cottage in some of my pictures on my blog. I'd love to do a post all about her but I'd have to ask her first.

  2. And I complain about going to the basement to do laundry!

    Cindy Bee

  3. My grandmother and uncle never had a washing machine or running water so this was the way they washed clothes on the farm. And I swear my uncle still has some of his "Sunday go to meetin" clothes! Oh, and I also got a bath in the washtub in the front yard!

  4. Things were so different all right! Yes, as you say, it must've been an exciting innovation to have an "Eze" wringer ... as opposed to wringing everything out by hand! Just thinking also, that in those days, not only did the women use their hands and wrists for wringing, there was a tremendous amount of other work they did by hand too.
    When we were in our 'grey nomad' phase - travelling around Australia, I used to do most of our washing by hand. I quickly learnt to ask my hubby to do the wringing out!
    I can remember my Mum making the fire under the big copper to heat up the water. Later on, she got an electric washing machine with the wringer rollers on top. I'd sometimes help with putting the clothes through the wringer but was always petrified my fingers would get caught.

    Yes, technology is wonderful Buttons, you said it!!

  5. Reminds me of the dishtowels with Sunday, Monday, Tuesday... and Monday was wash day. I can't even imagine. Most women had several children to care for, meals to be prepared, gardening, sewing, on and on. We do take so much for granted sometimes.

    Great post. :)

  6. saturday mornings were spent helping my mom run her ringer washer, stirring in the rinse tubs, ringing again, and finally hanging the clothes to dry on the line. some of the best times/talks i ever had with my sweet, hard-working mother...

  7. Ouch! I'm going to attack that pile that I somehow avoided all day yesterday, and without a single complaint!

    Blessings, Debbie

  8. A nice bit of the past you have there, Button. It's good to be reminded how soft our lives have become. Even though our predecessors got a lot more exercise just trying to survive they still lived short lives mostly because of the lack of good nutrition and medical care. We shouldn't complain. But I still do.

  9. Back then they probably had one perhaps 2 full changes of clothes for during the week and then one outfit for Sunday. Now we buy and buy and buy and just toss things in the machines to do all the work. Kinda makes me feel guilty. Thanks for the lovely photos!

  10. I always thank my wash machine before and after each load...AND the person who invented it:)))

  11. i remember seeing my grandmothers wash board many years ago. i remember hearing her stories and looking at her hard working hands.

    technology is wonderful in some ways, but ya gotta love all those old stories. do you think our kids will ever talk about us and say "remember when mom did the laundry in that huge, old, automatic laundry machine?!?!

  12. Fantastic, I still have an old copper in my outside laundry with a wood fire that goes beneath. One day I think I will give it a go!!!

  13. And the bluing and the starching! Running water, refrigeration and electricity are the things that make our lives so much easier.

  14. My grandma used not a wringer but some kind of simple spin washer long after she had to.

    And no worries about yesterday. Ha!!
    I took it as a compliment!! : )

    Happy long weekend B!

  15. I just love this post! what a great reminder that what I have to do today is not enough to whine about! ;)

  16. I think if we had to do our laundry like that we'd not buy so many clothes!
    Babies and over abundance is on my mind today...

  17. Hi,
    you are so right and the wash was done in the old way not so long ago. My mom told me all about it and she is in her 70's, so not so long ago at all.
    Have a great weekend and thank you for sharing.

  18. What a beautiful piece of nostalgia! I also love the line drying!

  19. Yes Technology is amazing as it the way we often take it for granted and don't feel thankful for it.
    A lovely post. Thank you.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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