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.
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!
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!
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