Monday, August 29, 2011

Grandma's Washing Machine and Stove

Grandma Kelly (Hellen Gertrude Zeller Kelly 1894 - 1985) loved her major appliances. She came up when all things domestic were done by hand with lots of hard work. Washing clothes and cooking were beyond our present day imaginings and grasp. I remember when I was little her proudly showing me her washing machine. It looked kind of like this if I remember it correctly. She explained the old way of washing clothes in a wash tub over an open fire in the yard. She taught me the proper way to hang clothes on a line with clothespins too.

Cousin Linda emailed the other day to inquire and chat about grandma's old stove. There were three that I remember. First was a coal stove. I tripped when I was about three years old and burned my wrist on the black beast... still have the little scar. The stove looked something like this, only hers looked better.

Then she had a very eye-catching one that looked something like this.

Last, she had a Kenmore that was her pride and joy!

When Grandma passed I went with all the family to the reading of her will. She left her washing machine, brand new at the time of the drafting of the will, to her daughter. By the time she passed it was very old. We all had a nice comfortable laugh that she loved and prized it so much that she wanted her daughter to have it. Grandma did love her major appliances!

Mom sent this by email this morning and it made me think of Grandma and her washing machines.

"Warshing" Clothes Recipe
Never thought of a "warsher" in this light before...what a blessing! "Warshing Clothes Recipe" -- imagine having a recipe for this! Years ago, an
Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe exactly as written and found in an old scrapbook with spelling errors and all.


Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water.
Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.
Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.
Sort things, make 3 piles -- 1 pile white, 1 pile colored, 1 pile work britches and rags.
To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.
Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.
Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.
Hang old rags on fence.
Spread tea towels on grass.
Pore wrench water in flower bed.
Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
Turn tubs upside down.
Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.
Brew cup of tea, sit, rock a spell, and count yore blessings.


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