EARLY DAYS - Homesteaders


wooden tub, washboard, washer and wringer

for heating water - metal wash tub, iron kettle, metal wash boiler

pails (for carrying water) and a dipper (to add more hot water while washing)

Laundry was washed by hand with a tub, washboard
and homemade lye soap. The tub was placed on a bench.

scrubbing from clipart etc

Laundry was hung outdoors on a clothesline.
In the winter laundry was hung indoors to dry.

clothesline from clipart etc

Sad irons or flat irons were heated on a stove. Some had stands to place the iron on. Irons with detachable handles were handy so you could iron while another iron was heating on the stove. The irons were heavy. Handles were wooden or metal.

A long narrow board served as an ironing board. The board was placed between two chairs or between a table and a chair. A thin blanket was used for an ironing pad.

ironing board from clipart etc

A hand-operated wringer was attached to the tub with clamps. It was hard to turn the rollers but it removed a lot more water than trying to wring out by hand. Then the laundry did not take as long to dry. The wringer was good for larger items like towels, blankets and sheets.


The first washing machines were hand-powered. The crank was turned by hand and the laundry was swished around to loosen the dirt. Metal tubs replaced wooden tubs.


(washing, ironing, making soap)

J.Giannetta 2017

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