"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Doing the laundry.....

I have mentioned before that I enjoy doing laundry. So while at the open air museum last week, I really enjoyed seeing some very early washing machines. And this one must have been chic for its time as it is a Miele which is still a very well known and expensive brand. I would love to go back in time for a day and use this machine. I think a person would come back so very thankful for their modern appliances but then again...maybe I would want to stay back in time.


This washer was in a shed in a small back garden. It is stoked with turf. This one must have been hard work and I am not sure how fresh the laundry would have smelled when it was done.

A Dutch laundry house. Isn't this just a beautiful building? I would really love doing my laundry if I lived here. *grins* I am sure the women and girls that worked here did not spend time looking at this building back in 1900. It was just very hard work.

Here is an old photo of the wet folding room. Laundry was given back to the owner folded and wet. Alternatively, you could have it folded dry which took even longer. The laundry process took an entire week to complete.

Wash was soaked as the first step in the process. It was then washed, bleached, rinsed and blued. At this point, it was taken to the folding room to be shaken and folded wet.

If you ordered your wash to be done folded dry, it would first be dried, mangled, ironed, folded and then pressed. At this point, it was cupboard ready.

An old print of an ironing worker. Ironing was a part of the process that took great time and attention.

An old photo in the dry folding room.

Some areas of Holland are noted for the special way in which a sheet is folded. This is folded into a roll that they call a rose.

It was hard work but I think there is nothing like a perfectly pressed and folded piece of linen goods in a cupboard. I would miss a fluffy towel coming out of a dryer but I enjoyed this walk back in time.

11 comments:

Nancy said...

Well, this was a fun trip through time in Holland. I sure remember when my Mom washed clothes with a ringer washer (that my sister put her are through and then reversed it back out and cried.) She then hung the clothes in the backyard and used clothes poles to prop the lines higher. I loved coming home for lunch from school and running through the wonderful smelling clothes. Memories.
Love you, Mom

Elizabethd said...

How fascinating to see those photos.It was some years before I had a washing machine, I started with a boiler and a mangle. What would we do today without our trusty washing machines?!

Judy said...

I remember my Grandma's wringer washer. She used to let us put the clothes through the wringers. Such fun we had. We always to the Be careful and don't get you hands caught! Such wonderful memories.

Rhondi said...

Hi Heidi
What an interesting post. It looks like laundry was an art form in Holland! Unlike you I don't enjoy doing the laundry, but I do appreciate the modern appliances we have to do it.
Hope you have a good day today.
((hugs)) Rhondi

Nan said...

This is one area I wouldn't ever want to go back in time for. Heidi, I think you'd be interested in this: when we visited the Shaker Village,

http://www.shakers.org/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

we saw a big upstairs room with racks. Here is what the site says:

'The Laundry is impressive in its relation to the development of the Shaker textile and weaving industry in addition to the laundering of residents’ clothing and other household items. When the Laundry was built in 1795, clothing was hung outside to dry. The unpredictability of New England weather and the growth of the community necessitated a remodeling in 1854, which enabled washing to be done on a predictable schedule. A steam-drying room was installed which featured movable drying racks that economized space. In 1907, a blower was put in the attic to force air upward from the steam-powered engines below through the hung laundry and out the ceiling and roof.'

I also read in Alan Titchmarsh' book about his childhood, Nobbut A Lad, about the really hard work it was for his mother to handle that heavy, wet laundry.

Nope, as much as I like some older things, I really like my washer and dryer.:<)

Elise said...

WOW - imagine having to take all that time just to get the laundry done ! My washing machine has packed up today and already I'm cursing it....

Wild Rose said...

Oh Heidi, my back is aching at the thought of doing all that laundry by hand!

Thanks for such an interesting post and great photos.

Enjoy your weekend.

Marie x

Mary said...

I'm definitely happy we aren't still using mangles and washboards - however I wish I could get back to pegging out the bed linens - they smell so much nicer then! Meanwhile, ironing with lavender, or verbena, linen sprays helps bring in a touch of fragrance.

Interesting post Heidi - thanks for sharing.

Glad mom is coping with her treatment - I know just what she's facing each day and wish her the best and send her love and prayers.

Hope you are well too. I miss your comments - know you're busy but do stop by soon!
Hugs - Mary.

Rhondi said...

Hi Hiedi
I hope you had a very good weekend. I am having a welcome fall party on Tuesday to celebrate the first day of fall. I'd love it if you'd join in the fun.
((hugs))Rhondi

Happy@Home said...

That was a very interesting look back in time. It seems that laundry duty was an art form back then. I am impressed by the "rose" sheet. I don't think I'll ever complain about doing the laundry again :-)

vitamine A said...

Great post. Its something unique and interesting. Thanks for sharing. I like that laundry machine.