Scroll Top

Modern Technology

Maytag washing machine, circa 1927-1930.

In Spring, the housewife’s hardest task was doing the laundry. Without running water or electricity, a woman used staggering amounts of time and labor. One wash, one boiling and one rinse used about 50 gallons of water. The water was pumped, then transferred to a stove or cast iron boiler for heating and washing. More water for another tub was used for rinsing. Rubbing, wringing and lifting water-laden laundry wearied a woman’s arms and exposed them to harsh soaps containing lye.

In 1846, the invention of the washing machine promised some relief from such labor but still in 1927, when this electric Maytag came along, wash day was an all-day task. Our lady shown in the photo separated her was wash and placed a grouping in the heavy aluminum tub; the agitators turned and cleaned the load. Then she used the wringer to squeeze out the soapy fabrics, rinsed the was once or twice, again putting the clothes through the wringer and repeated the procedure with the next load. Finally, she hung out the wet laundry to dry, removed and folded or ironed it and put it away.

Who says these were the good ‘ol days?

Maytag Washer