Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Women's Work: Never Done!

To look at early labor saving devices, it's easy to see why that phrase! Yet they did save a certain amount of labor. Certainly a yoke with two galvanized pails beats gourds to draw water from the spring; a big tub for boiling clothes gets them cleaner than beating them with stones in the river; ditto for the old fashioned scrubbing board.

But there were advancements, way back when. Here's a hand-operated tumbler, with wringer attachment. Like the other items, to be found at the Skull Valley Historical Society Museum, BTW.

Haven't exactly figured out what the gadgetry in the forward tub is. Something to do with Monday (which even in my memory is the day we wash the clothes...)

More modern yet -- electricity has replaced muscle power.

But, ladies, can you imagine ironing those voluminous skirts and stiff shirts with one of these implements which had to be heated on the stove? I gave up ironing in the 60s, thanks to my husband, who told me to let the laundry do it. And I still do.

These displays from women's past at the little country museum did not include any wood burning ranges -- I'll bet that any that are remain are still in use out at range shacks. Take note of the heavy-duty fly spray and, in the left hand corner, an ice cream freezer that was probably electrified in the work shed.

More kitchen tools...

...and an interesting collection of kitchen and washday products. Rinso I remember -- it was sponsor of the Ma Perkins soap; Peets is not among my recollections. I also see an early steam iron.

More gadgets and products from early in the last century, including a potato ricer and disposable picnic spoons & forks in wood, not plastic. I'd say that despite the problems of modernity, it is a lot kinder to women.


sheoflittlebrain said...

I hope your Mom is doing well today. We're looking forward to seeing her fit as a fiddle on her birthday!

Love all this old kitchen gadgetry! We have a little green washing machine thingy in the basement. I told E we should give it to this museum. It was electric, but very small..

Granny J said...

Brain -- bro spent the night with her -- I'll have a better idea when I see him. As for the kitchen gadgetry, it's quite fascinating. Then there's my memory of my grandfather making laundry soap. Evil grey stuff, it was.

Jan said...

granny j..all of these are so interesting to see--and to think, in their day, some of them would have been considered real luxury items.

Most of all, I wanted to say that I hope your mom is doing well. I've been having computer probs, and couldn't post, but I am sending good thoughts your way.

smilnsigh said...

Let's all go count our blessings now!!!!!


Granny J said...

Jan -- thanks. Mom is on the mend, but was too tired to visit with us today. As for the devices -- they were indeed luxuries in their day!

SnS -- All things considered, I think women have benefited from modernity more than men. BTW, thinking about the exhibit, I became aware that there wasn't anything of a sewing nature on display! Thinking back on the evolution of the Singer from my childhood (a up-to-date treadle machine) to the whiz-bang jobs that sell for mere pennies, I am truly made aware of how much everything has changed.

JuliaR said...

"Haven't exactly figured out what the gadgetry in the forward tub is."

I wonder if it is a mangle? The two rollers might be squeezed together to wring water out - or something.

Granny J said...

juliar -- I had about decided that it was possibly a home-made wringer. Many, man years ago, my LH and I came into an old fashioned wooden dry mangle, which was quite a bit wider -- need to do sheets, of course!

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