Wash-day mem­o­ries

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

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.

EVE­LYN CAL­LA­HAN

Ben­ton

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