Washing and Ironing

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As you walk into the Carriage House and turn right, you can walk into the laundry exhibit. It contains an ironing board and irons, a SpinRite ironing machine, and several kinds of washers starting with one that is little more than a wash board and wringer.

Animated View: Washing and Ironing
On the left is a SpinRite and an ironing board with irons. On the right are four washers arranged chronologically starting with the oldest one farthest away. (4 images, 2 second delay)

The Spin Rite was a mechanized ironing board that used a large, soft roller like a rotating ironing board that pressed against a hot, concave metal surface that flattened sheets and the like as they were fed through the machine.

The wooden platform behind the Spinrite is an ironing board with irons (donated by Gene Rackow). Before the days of wrinkle-free clothing, a hot iron and an ironing board were used to remove wrinkles from clothing.

The oldest washer is an Anchor Brand ringer, tub, washboard, and a bar of soap used to wash clothes entirely by hand. The hand crank wringer was used to extract most of the water before clothes were hung on a line to dry. (This is from the Eldred Gilbert Collection.)

To the immediate right of the tub and washboard is a washing machine that was originally gas-powered and converted to electricity. This machine might have been purchased at the Company Store. (This machine was donated by Phil and Gay Peterson.)

The next washing machine is an early Whirlpool electric washer with cup-shaped paddles that could twist back and forth and move up and down. This automated the washing part of the process. (This machine was donated by Max McArthur.)

The last machine is an Easy Spindrier Washing Machine. It is similar to the Whirlpool washing machine but with an additional tiny spinning cylinder that could remove most water from clothes, but they still had to be hung on a clothes line to finish drying them.

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