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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Woman’s Work was hard back then

Modern womankind has things really easy these days.  Throw the clothes in the washing machine, add the soap powder, press an few buttons, and walk away.  And just imagine beating the carpets by hand, cooking on a wood stove, and making your own butter and cheese.  All this while working on the farm, bringing up a large family,  and milking the house cow as well!  What brought on all this conjecture – you may ask?  It was a trip to Taranaki Aviation, Transport and Technology Museum.

There was a huge selection of blokey stuff to look through, but I was particularly interested to see what was on show from the hard working women’s lives of the past.  Guess a wash tub and glass scrubbing board must have been a step up from bashing the washing on rocks in the river.

DSCF5056 What a way to wash the nappies!

DSCF5057This would seem like a dream come true.

There was quite a large selection of Singer sewing machines, carpet sweepers and later early model vacuum cleaners.  I started sewing on the family Singer treadle machine, and remembered how grown up I felt when I progressed to an electric sewing machine.  Like many girls of my time, I whipped up many a full skirted dress to wear over my stiff petticoats to the local Saturday night dance in the Lower Hutt Town Hall.  Then I rock’n’rolled the night away!

DSCF5058 .Sewing machines and spinning wheels

DSCF5062Carpet sweepers

Who can remember those Lamson tubes (Lamson Rapid Wire Carrier System) which whisked money and dockets on wires across department stores?  We were invited to “let the inner child out to play” and have a go.  It took me several goes to pull down hard enough to make it work.  But once I’d got the hang of it, there was no stopping us.  I was at one end, and Robin at the other, and the tube just kept whizzing along the wire!

P4077957 Having fun with the Lamson tube

Our time at New Plymouth is coming to an end, and we are moving on to Taupo tomorrow.  Then we will make our way slowly home, stopping here and there as we fancy.  You can catch up with our travel adventures on our travel blog at www.romanyrambler.blogspot.com


Nancy J said...

Jenny I remember the tubes so well, at Smith & Caughey in Queen Street, maybe George Courts was there too, or another street, copper and tubs, hand wringer, blue bag for the whites,carpet sweeper, and the lifts with the metal concertina like door that closed onto the inner one!!!wonderful to think some of these olden day "goodies" have been saved, for us to stroll down memeory lane, and be thankful for modern day appliances.Ta for all photos. Cheers from Jean

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

That makes me sooooo glad that I can press the buttons and go sew!!!

June said...

I too remember the tubes in the Co-op in the village on the south coast of England [Selsey] with the cashier in her little cubicle high in the corner of the shop! Did I add to global warming when later in NZ I did the family wash by burning all our rubbish in the copper to get hot water? And when earning money as a teenager I did housework in the school holidays without benefit of a vacuum cleaner - I really did use a carpet beater! Thanks for the memories Jenny!