Haven’t washing machines come a long way? First there were rivers and rocks. Then came washboards and buckets and mangles – my Nan had those; as well as a roof maiden. I remember them in her kitchen.
Next came the twin-tub washing machine to make a woman’s life easier (it was always a woman): I’m sure my Mum liked nothing better after a full working week and her two part-time jobs, to stand on a Saturday afternoon in our kitchen and schlep pile after pile of dirty clothes into one drum for washing; schlep them out of that drum into a basket while she washed the next lot of clothes in the same water (always wash cleanest to dirtiest); and the next; and the next. Or maybe she used the sink and rinsed them in there by hand; before schlepping them into the second drum for spinning; finally, she would schlep the whole soggy pile into the garden to dry, or on to the radiators as it usually wasn’t; and then start all over again.
My mother didn’t complain because it beat using a washboard; and my Dad would help with the lifting if he wasn’t working.
I remember the day we got our first automatic washing machine and a tumble dryer. Once installed and in use, we all sat on chairs in front of the washer and admired it as it spun round and round and round and…you get the idea. Dad, my brother and I soon got bored and cleared off, but Mum sat for ages. I have always thought it was because she never got when a joke stopped being amusing, but as I write this it suddenly occurs to me that it was probably her first sit-down in months and she was making the most of it.
My parents sold the appliances when we emigrated to South Africa, and I remember they got £50 for the tumble dryer and bought my brother a grey leather jacket with it.
When the Hub and I married way back in the last century (1985) we had no money and we were given a twenty-two-year-old twin tub washing machine by the parents of his best man. We honeymooned for a week in Cape Town and flew back on a Monday night, arriving home at around three in the morning. I woke up in the late afternoon to find the Hub slaving over the ancient washer and our dirty clothes all clean and drying on the line. When a man does that on the first proper day of marriage and brings you breakfast in bed as well, you know you’ve got a good ‘un.
We gave away the twin-tub when we moved to Jo’burg, and the last I heard it was still working.
This post was inspired by my reply to a comment from nrhatch on My Dream Vacation and Viewfromtheside’s Blog’s Weekend Theme prompt, invention. Pop across there if you want to see variations on the theme.
You all enjoyed the searches so much, I thought you might like this one from today:
cartoon talking toasts that are funny
And you think I’m nuts.