I made mention of “wash day” in a previous post. Every day is wash day for those of us here on the Farm, except for Mr. Big Food who does his laundry on a schedule. Every so often, he has “shirt-washing days,” “pant-washing days,” and so on. (He’s very disciplined.) But in the crappy olden days, there really was such a thing as wash day– the one day a week the laundry was done. My neighbors still have wash day. I know this because they hang their clothes out on the line every Wednesday, although Wednesday was not the preferred wash day.
|HOME LAUNDERING: Need for cleaning knowledge [full citation at post’s end]|
Please do take a minute to enlarge and read this. It is delightful! Look carefully at the diagram on the left-hand page. Note the decidedly non-Electric dryer. We have it so hard these days. We should protest.
Tuesday is preferred over Monday for wash day for the following reasons. (Who does their laundry on Wednesday?) Monday can be used to:
- Replenish the larder
- Put the house in order after the weekend
- Mend tears, etc. that would worsen when the garment was laundered
- Remove stains
- Prepare food in advance for wash day
- Gather, and presumably sort (this is a dig), laundry and prepare laundry apparatus without “infringing on the pleasures or quiet of Sunday”
I say again, we have it so hard these days. Can you imagine what it must have been like for
housewives women before the invention of the Electric washer and dryer made it possible for them to escape the drudgery of wash day?? They had to mend clothes so clothes would last longer. They actually had to think things through: cook a day ahead, gather– and presumably sort– the laundry, get the “apparatus” ready.
Could they have taken pride in this drudgery?
To be clear, I like Electric stuff just as much as the next guy. In fact, while typing all of this out on my electricity driven laptop, a storm came up and the power flickered a few times. I had to stop what I was doing, go get the flashlights and the oil lamp. I had to quickly think through what else I’d need to do if the power went out for more than a few minutes– it’s after dark already. Trust me, I am a fan of Electricity.
But I wonder how much we’ve paid for being able to throw a mega-load of unsorted clothes into an Electric washing machine with that new detergent that forgives us for not knowing that black and white make grey?
Citation: Care of Clothing. The Women’s Institute Library of Dressmaking, vol. 3. The Women’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. Press of International Textbook Company, Scranton, Pa. 1925.
Note: The book in front of me makes no mention of Mary Brooks Picken, but see this.