Remember Wringer Washing Machines? If you do, then you are old-ha! I remember them well! Wash day was a production on Saturdays when my Mom was home from work and had a week's worth of laundry for 5 kids and 2 adults! My older sister usually helped with the laundry and sometimes my brother who was 3 yrs. older than myself. Wringer washers were dangerous for children as their arm could get drawn right into the rollers. We knew kids who had skin scars from that happening so it was frightening to me. But I did like the sound of the rythmn as the agitator went back and forth.
Water had to be heated on the stove and dumped into tub and rinse tub until they were full. The clothes were washed then fed through the rollers where they dropped into the rinse water. Then put back through the rollers to get as much moisture out as was possible.
Pretty much like in this photo on the left. Then the wet clothing was taken outside to hang on the clothesline to dry. This was not fun in the winter when they would freeze on the line. Mama would bring them in stiff as a board and lay them around to thaw before ironing. The smell of clothes from the line was heavenly, but the process was quite hellish!
I often wonder what young people today would do if they had to use those old wringer washers!
We had no refrigerator, only an "ice box" with a tube going down the back from the ice box into a pan to catch the water that melted. If this was not dumped at intervals, you could end up with water all over the floor. It kept things cool but of course never frozen. My Mom used to make Jello only in the winter when she could place the bowl outside in a snow bank to set up! We would put a sign in the window when we needed ice and the ice man would bring in a chunk by the pound for whatever the sign indicated. He would bring the block of ice in on his shoulder that was protected by a leather mat, holding the block with huge tongs. He would place it in our box and it would last for a few days. So we never had fresh milk unless we bought it and drank it that day. Consequently, we drank Pet Milk in the can mixed with water. I hated the taste and would only drink it if it had cocoa in it! Yes, those were the good old days! I had friends who had electric refrigerators but we did not have one until I was in my teens.
But you know, I would not trade any of my experiences growing up regardless of some of the hardships. It made me appreciate everything I have.
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