I'm feeling some gratitude today because I have a washer and a dryer. I remember helping my grandmother with the washing when I was a child. She had a galvanized tub that we filled with hot water from the stove. I remember that she used Ivory Flakes. It was a type of soap for laundry that was shavings off of a bar of soap. I remember that big blue box and how it smelled.
We had a paddle that we used to push the clothes down into the big tub and then we had to stir and stir the laundry to agitate it. We had a second tub with cold water (from the water hose) and my Grandmother would put bluing in it. I loved seeing the beautiful blue that the water turned. We only used bluing for white clothes so they wouldn't turn yellow. Sheets, my Grandfather's white dress shirts, undergarments..all got the bluing treatment.
We fed the clothing from the wash tub to the rinse tub with a hand-cranked wringer like the one the lady in the picture is using. Ours was bigger though because I could barely reach it. I wasn't allowed to put the clothes into the wringer because I might pinch my fingers. People would break their fingers in those wringers! After we used the wash paddles to slosh the clothes around in the bluing, we would run them through the wringer into a 3rd wash tub. It also had cold water from the hose. One more rinse and back through the wringer into the laundry basket. Then we hung them on the clothes line.
This process was then started over for other loads of clothes. So I don't complain about having to do washing today. My daughter, Gina, was born before disposable diapers came out. I also appreciated having a washer and dryer then. Imagine going through all of that every day (winter and summer) for diapers and baby things!
Forgive me Lord when I complain about laundry!