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Laundry was the worst job in the week for a housewife. This wooden washing machine, found in a Deerfield home, was supposed to help make that hard job easier. There were a huge number of patents for labor saving machines for the home earned in the 19th century. Clearly there was a need for such things and inventors thought that they could make a fortune if they did well. Most of them did not. What they seemed to be doing was trying to make machines copy the motions of the hand, and in this case, that of the washboard. This often ended up in rougher action on the clothes, which caused them to wear out more quickly. Other problems included the rust from the metal parts, which stained the clothes.


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Four-legged Washtub

creator   Unidentified
width   24.0"
height   40.0"
length   46.5"
process/materials   wood
item type   Tools/Textile working Tools & Equipment
accession #   #2014.01.537

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See Also...

"Red Electric" Washing and Wringing Machine

Clothes Wringer

Clothes Wringer

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