Oh, boy—did that article by Mr. Tom Dillard ever stir the memories!
For my mom, who married my dad here in central Arkansas in 1930, there was a washtub, and around the washtub were two tubs of rinse water. The “bluing” was added to the final rinse water to enhance the whiteness of the white clothes. The wash pot of boiling water was also used to help get those sheets sparkling clean. Women felt judged based on the whiteness of the sheets hanging from their clotheslines.
Our earliest rub board had a metal “rub” surface, but a later surface was made of glass.
The laundry was hung on the clothesline until completely dry. We would never have left the laundry even slightly damp, because if you didn’t get the ironing done quickly, the clothing would mildew.
We then had to “sprinkle” the clothes to be ironed. This was done with a wet hand shaken over the clothes. Then along came the stopper for soft-drink bottles which had a sprinkler head. Much better. Those clothes had to sit for a short time before ironing so that the dampness could permeate the clothes more evenly.
The irons must have been those described in Mr. Dillard’s article as “Mrs. Potts’ Cold Handle Sad Irons.” There were three big irons, in graduated sizes, and my little toy iron. They were heated on the wood cook stove.
We didn’t get electricity until around 1948 or 1949.