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For centuries, people on sea voyages washed their clothes by placing the dirty laundry in a strong cloth bag,

and tossing it overboard, letting the ship drag the bag for hours. The principle was sound: forcing water through clothes to remove dirt. Catharine Beecher, an early advocate of bringing order and dignity to housework, called laundry "the American housekeepers hardest problem". Women from all classes tried to find ways to get relief from doing laundry. Some hired washerwomen and others used commercial laundries. Eventually mechanical aids lightened the load."In the early days, without running water, gas, or electricity even the most simplified hand-laundry used staggering amounts of time and labor. One wash, one boiling and one rinse used about fifty gallons of wateror four hundred poundswhich had to be moved from pump or well or faucet to stove and tub, in buckets and wash boilers that might weigh as much as forty or fifty pounds. Rubbing, wringing, and lifting water-laden clothes and linens, including large articles like sheets, tablecloths, and mens heavy work clothes, wearied womens arms and wrists and exposed them to caustic substances.They lugged weighty tubs and baskets full of wet laundry outside, picked up an article, hung it on the line, and returned to take it all down; they ironed by heating several irons on the stove and alternating them as they cooled, never straying far from the hot stove."

Washing Machine

The first washing-machines

Modern washing-machies

Author: Pitucan Alina


Class: 6-A