Left: Putting a polka dot dress through the wringer and into a rinse tub. (Farm Journal, October 1940.)
Above: A gasoline-burning iron for those without electricity. Flat irons, often called sad irons, came in sets of three. While one was being used, the other two were heating on top of the stove. There was usually a single handle that could be easily attached and detached from the iron bases. (Montgomery Ward & Co. catalog, Winter 1930-31.)Below: A new, shiny Wardway Gyrator electric washing machine from the Winter, 1930-31 Montgomery Ward & Co. catalog. The machine had an “improved agitator” and a “lifetime copper tub.” Expensive at $74.50, the Wardway could be bought for $5 down and $7.50 a month.
Left: Keeping the kitchen stove well-fired on a hot summer day in order to heat the sad irons was murder on the housewife. (Farm Journal, April 1940.)
Below: An ad from the turn of the last century for a double-duty washing machine. (Farm Implement News, Dec. 14, 1899.)