The wringer-washer and the clothespin bag. Anyone remember?

The old Maytag. It sat on the back porch in the summer or in the corner of the kitchen for many years. Then it was moved to the basement. That old wringer-washer, a 1925 model I was told, did sit in the basement and got used each Saturday.

A strong bench sat by its side, two different tubs for rinse water. I wonder how many loads of wash it did take, how many pairs of this and that it did lave? It ran and ran for over 50 years, and then it was just left, left sitting there. For a brand new modern washer replaced it and in the kitchen it was placed. Just put in a load, add some soap, turn the switch, and it was on.

I remember one time, long, long ago, when I decided to wring something out. Put it in and oooooooooh no! My hand into the ringer did go. But it was stopped before I was hurt, and to this day, of wringers I am afraid.

Do you remember the procedure? How the loads of wash were picked? Whites came first, then the colored delicates; followed lastly by the dirty work clothes. And the rinse water: those two big tubs; one had bluing the other one didnít. And a long garden hose was used to drain it out. The dirty water did run out in a small ditch, but the rinse water was used to water the flowers.

It was a modern convenience, it surely was, for my grandmother had to use a washboard. Yet for many years later, the set remained downstairs, but the nostalgia was lost for those old wash days.

On the wall in the laundry room is my motherís clothespin bag...a neat hand-stitched one it is, made by Mrs. Smeltzer, who lived over at the foot of the mountain. How many whippings did I get for taking clothes pins? Make a tractor from a spool, use the clothespin for a trigger, and knocking the clothespin bag off the line were just a few reasons why I got a whipping.

The old clothespins were just cut from wood, no spring but a Vee. Then came the metal spring ones, and we still have a lot of those around. But my momma used a clothespin apron, and when she passed away, that apron full of clothespins was still on its hook.

 

 


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