Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Washing Machine



This picture was taken in 1940, and shows one of the first advances towards mechanized clothes washing. The lady has a motorized clothes ringer. I am not sure how much help this really was . . . it does not appear to have any sort of agitator, so maybe she just does not have to ring the water out by hand. Still, I would think laundry would be an all day job.

18 comments:

  1. Not having to wring out the clothes would be considerably easier on the hands especially if the laundress had arthritis.

    I suspect people wore their clothes several times between washings.

    She looks happy. The thing I like about doing manual labour is that it frees the mind to think or pray or sing.

    It used to drive a couple of my kids nuts when I would sing as I worked. Now my youngest daughter sings while she works.

    An Alberta Clipper is due in a couple of days that might bring a dusting of snow.

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  2. I remember my parent's neighbors having one on their porch. And my mother telling me every time I went over there not to put my fingers near the ringer.
    5 word ticia
    Stayed near freezing all day. At lunch there were still icecicles from the drain spouts.

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  3. Agitator is in tank to right of wringer. My mom had one of those in the basement and I did laundry with it.

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  4. We had one when I was a kid, always afraid I was going to get my fingers caught.

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  5. OLD MAN has it right,
    We did our wash in the basement. Whites first, after washing for awhile we would use the wringer to wring out the wash water and that went into the first rinse tub. You then added new clothes into the agitator. Then you swung the wringer over one more position and after swishing the washed clothes for a bit we would use the wringer and move the rinsed cloths to a second rinse tub, and then use the wringer and put them into the handing basket. Then take them outside and hang them up. And after hanging them up it was downstairs to start all over again. And when the water got dirty you would change it. I caught my fingers in the wringer more than once, but they had a handy release bar on the wringer, that pop it open in case you were dumb enough to stick your fingers in it.
    We didn't have electricity on the farm so all this was done with a gas powered wash machine and the water was heated on a big wood stove.
    Thank goodness when we moved to town we had electricity and hot water from a tap.
    I was a boy of about 10 years old when I started to do the family of nine's wash. It was my way of helping out my mother who had more than enough to keep her day busy with cooking, baking and working in the family business, and I was happy to do it.
    And looking back I am proud of all the things I did to make my parents, especially my mothers, life easier.

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  6. Dadd is correct about the number of tubs and the entire procedure. When I was a kid in New Mexico, in the late 1940's early 1950's, my grandmother and my aunt woud take their laundry to the "laundromat," where they woud do their laundry in this exact same manner.

    In the early 1970's my friend, Lynn, ran an outfitting lodge in Wyoming and she did the lodge laundry the same way. First the MANY bed sheets, then on down through progressively dirty tubs of water, until she emptied the washer and put in clean water. At least she had a propane hot water heater.

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  7. Love this! My great grandmother used a washing machine with a wringer like this.

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  8. DADD is correct. I washed clothes just like this in my basement on the farm till our fourth child was born in 1967. Then we decided it was time to get an automatic washer and dryer. Sure was a help, since I later had two more children. But, I still loved hanging cloth diapers on the line outside to dry. Times have Changed!
    Myrtlesgirl

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  9. I had a washer like that when I was married to my first husband. There was a timer on mine to set for whites, colors, etc. DADD is correct about the procedure.

    I use an automatic now, but as long as the weather is decent, the Lord of the Manor and I hang things out on the line. They smell so GOOD! I have an electric dryer, but much prefer the "solar powered" one.

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  10. It's amazing, how even today, laundry takes up so much time. Even with the latest front-loading machine and dryer, this is how I still spend much of my housework time.

    The only alternative is to send it out - which I do sometimes.

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  11. We had one of these wringer washers - u hd to put the clothes the 2 rollers and pull them thru while pressing the lever to hold the rollers together. many of time I put my hand thru the ringer and as a result hv crooked fingers.

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  12. My mom had one and was fearful of getting her hair caught in the "wringer."

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  13. What are the other items like the small box at the bottom of the post? It says co-op on it.

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  14. By the time I was in school, our family jobs were pretty well defined. I cut the grass and did all the outside work when Dad was on TDY to who knows where and the girls (two sisters) did the laundry and other indoor chores.

    They had the great fortune to have a wringer washing machine to use, but did not appreciate it as much as they should. It broke one day and it was several weeks before we could get a repairman out to fix it. By the time he had it going again, they both were as appreciative as a younger brother would ever be allowed to see.

    Dishes were another issue. Us kids did them every night and with three of us, you were on for two weeks and off for one. Then there was the issue of who washed and who dried..............

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  15. This is exactly how I washed my clothes when we were first married in 1949. The agitator is in the washer. The wringer swings around to both of the rinse tubs. Very convenient.

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  16. If I am not mistaken, that's an old Maytag washer with a gasoline hit & miss engine - link below on youtube of the same washer in action.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIWswiLaMbY

    Tom

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  17. I actually have one of these Maytag washing machines in my backyard. The wringer is swung away from the machine, and is run by a gas powered kick-start engine. It's a great conversation piece. And the engine still works.

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  18. Getting the water out of hand washed clothes is the hardest part, with the exception of heating the water. Thank you for sharing your pictures I really enjoy your blog!

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