Saturday, May 9, 2009
Well, I found this picture of an old washing machine it reminded me of the first electric washing machine we had. When we got electricity it was determined one of these newfangled (RK) machines would make life a lot easier.
Before we got electricity we did our wash out next to the creek bank using our iron pot for heating wash water and two galvanized wash tubs and a wash stand with an old wringer in the middle. A washboard was used to scrub the clothes clean.
Our first and only washer similar to the picture was a used one that my grandfather paid 10 dollars for at J.C. Muse Hardware Store. It sat in a corner of the back porch next to the kitchen door.
During the week it was used as a holding plce for the dirty clothes. On Monday morning or Wash Day we would carry water from the creek and put it on the cook stove to heat. Then we would carry in the wash tubs from outside and set them on a bench next to the washing machine. We would then carry water from the creek to fill the washtubs.
The hot water would be dumped into the washing machine. The white clothes were always washed first. Bluinig was added to the water to keeep the clothes white. Then the bed sheets and then colored clothes, towels, and then overalls and rags last. By this time the water was really dirty.
Things that were to be starched were added to the dishpan full of starch water and starched before they were hung to dry.
We had just one clothesline and by the time it was full. The first clothes were usually dry. We could take them down and hang others in their place. After the washing was done the dirty water was carried out to the back and dumped under the house. I never knew why they did that except it was close. The cleanest dirty water was then used to scrub the back porch. The boards of the floor weren’t real close together so the water would seep down through the cracks and disappear.
After the clothes were dry and brought into the house they were either folded and put away or wet down so they could be ironed. Ironing was a different story . It was hard work. I will write about that later.
That’s it for today.
A post script to this story .
We also had another use for the washing machine lid. In the wintertime we used it for a sled. It made a great sled as we went flying down the hill on our homemade saucer.
Posted by Jenny Johnson at 8:04 AM