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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Laundry - it was hard work in the old days

It’s fair to say that I’ve got a bit of a reputation as a “washer woman”.  I like nothing better than seeing a nice line of freshly washed clothes flapping in the sunny breeze.  And strange as it seems to some, I quite enjoy doing the ironing too.  We are enjoying a week or two away in our caravan and are currently staying in Feilding.   A visit to the Coach House Museum  reminded me that doing the laundry was very hard work in old colonial times.

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Doing laundry the hard way

I always enjoy looking at displays of old household implements – washing buckets, wash boards and old mangles.  All items to make the life of a housewife a little easier, and they must have been so glad to have them.  But how would I have coped, I wonder?  And I loved the old sewing machine, stitching up a sacking work apron, but making it pretty with a coloured edging.  There would have been little leisure time for ladies who lived in these early days.

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Tools of the trade for colonial housewives
Further around the museum I was delighted to come across a “virtual horse and buggy ride”.  I followed the instructions and clambered aboard, picked up the reins and pushed the big green button.  The buggy gently swayed, as the horse on the TV screen took me on a ride along the streets of Feilding.  Such a thrill for a townie like me who is just a little frightened of great big horses.

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Enjoying my virtual ride.

Later in the afternoon it was time to attend to our own laundry.  But I did it the easy way, non of this back breaking stoking the fire, moving clothes around with a copper stick, and working that heavy mangle.  Instead we drove to the local launderette, loaded the clothes, added soap powder and a few dollars, and sat back to read my book while the machine did all the work.

4 comments:

Kate said...

A virtual horse and buggy ride is so novel! :)

Warm Quilts said...

What a great virtual ride-along. That black and white photo back-drop is fantastic.

Nancy J said...

I can remember our copper and twin concrete tubs, the blue bag for the whites, and hand wringer. Even in the 1940's and early '50's ,still lots of work. Ditto to all mod cons today.

Janice said...

I love your musings on washing. My uncle once told me I should have been born 100 years earlier, with my love of old things, but I told him I was quite happy here, with the mod cons of washing machines, vacuum cleaners etc. Mind you, when I was a kid, at Grandma's we used the copper and the washing machine was over twin cement tubs. You washed in one side, then put them through the wringer on the top to then rinse on the other side. It was quite novel at the time. However, I'll stay with the mod cons any day.