Let's Talk Rusty Iron

You've Come a Long Way, Baby


| April 2006


Early laundry processes defined by grueling labor

This doesn't have much to do with Rusty Iron, but it's been a while since I've written anything for my faithful lady readers.

I have a 1920 book called Farm Economy, a Cyclopedia of Agriculture for the Practical Farmer and His Family, with a section titled "A Special Department on Labor Saving Methods for the Housewife." The section starts by pointing out that many improved implements and methods were routinely used by the farmer to ease his labor, but that his home, "which exceeds the field in importance," had not received as much attention.

In 1925 in Ohio, for example, just one in five farms had electricity, and 70 percent of those had their own light plants. Only one in seven Ohio farm homes had running water, while one in nine had a washing machine and a few more had an electric iron. One in three had a gasoline engine, but it's not recorded how many of those were available to the farm wife.

Along with many kitchen and cooking suggestions in the book are laundry hints that will sound strange to modern women raised on automatic washers and dryers, and may bring back not-sofond memories for ladies of a "certain age."

The book recommends a separate room for the laundry, if possible, with running water and all necessary supplies. The author notes that small gasoline engines work well for running the washing machine, pumping water, churning, or turning the cream separator, and says every farm woman should have the use of one.

Power washing machines with a wringer attached are described as being very satisfactory. "With such a washer, clothes may be washed, rinsed and wrung by the machine. It's only necessary to starch and hang up clothes by hand. If it's impossible to have a power washer, at least have a hand washing machine, as they are far ahead of the wash board."






SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265