Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 year ago

How did thy do wash back in the 1940,s?

18 Answers

  • Fred
    Lv 7
    1 year ago
    Favorite Answer

    I remember my Grandmother back in the late 1950s who did her and my grandfathers washing the old fashioned way. She would first fill a large copper tub which held about 10 to 15 gallons of water. This copper tub was held in a steel holder so a fire could be started below it to boil the water. The clothes were boiled and lifted out with a stich as the water was boiling and the clothes were dropped into double concrete tub arrangement with the tubs full of water. My grandmother would have a corrugated glass wash board in a wooden frame and a very large bar of laundry soap. She would break a piece she could handle in her hand. She would rub into the stains with the soap on the wash board rubbing the soapy clothes against the corrugations to work the stains out of the clothes. When she was happy the clothing was clean she would put the clothes through a mangle. A mangle was a 2 roller device (rollers were about 4 inches across each and made of wood) that had a crank handle, and the clothes were fed through in between the wooden rollers squeezing a large amount of water out of the clothes which ran back into the cement trough.

    If grandma was happy the clothes were clean I think they were rinsed and put through the mangle again and then hung out to dry. It was a laborious job. When the clothes were dry they were ironed with a steel heavy iron that was heated on the wood burning stove, or a steel iron which was hollow and you filled it with hot coals from the fire. Everything was ironed including bed sheets and then nicely folded. If a family had daughters generally if they were home were expected to help do the washing and ironing. Generally back then washing and ironing was a Monday job which took a whole day.

    Around 1950s the motorised washer came about and for farm houses with no power they had small petrol engines to power their agitators and swirl the water around. In the 1950s and 1960s soap powders started to come out and it took most of the scrubbing work out of washing most clothes. My grandmother was likely to be one of the last people to wash the clothes the old way by hand.

    My grandparents only had 32 volt power they generated themselves and charged batteries which was mostly just for lighting.

  • 1 year ago

    That was only slightly be fore the 1950s. But we still had a wringer washing machine. I did everything a modern machine does except spin.

    So when the tub empty you must put each item through the wringer blades. And also hang out on a clothsline. There were no dryers-- or at least they were expensive.

    Source(s): My memory. Refrigerators had to be defrosted once and a while
  • Cara
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    My mother sent linens and towels to the laundry and washed everything else by hand, hanging out the clothes to dry in the garden in fine weather or up high on a rack with a pulley indoors in bad weather. I also remember a mangle over the bath. She then ironed it all. I'm sure it all took hours of work. She never did own a washing machine, but later got a spin dryer.

  • 1 year ago

    with hot water and hard soap, usually in a bowl or basin, people didnt tend to take soaking baths back then more than once a week or even less frequently unless they were wealthy

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 year ago

    By hand in wash tubs or with washboards, or by electric washing machines that were very primitive. They had a motorized agitator at the bottom of a tub or 'drum', but there was no spin cycle. Excess moisture was extracted by squeezing clothes between two wooden or hard rubber/plastic rollers to 'wring out' the water. These were known as wringer washers.

  • 1 year ago

    Wringer machines and agitators. My grandma still had hers in the 1960's. You did it by turning a crank, it wasn't moved by electricity.

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    Ever heard about a tit in the wringer? ... that was before the spin cycle of more modern washing machines.

    The principle about washing clothes has been the same for centuries. Add something to water (possibly/depends), filter the water through the clothes (the first electric washers starting around 1910 had an agitator), rinse and dry.

    I remember washing clothes in my shower. That is hard work. When they dry on the clothesline they smell great.

  • 1 year ago

    I lived in the Far East throughout the 1950s, and we had a 'wash amah' whose sole job it was to wash and iron the family's clothes. She washed them in a wooden tub, with a wooden scrubbing board.

    When we moved to the UK in the early 1960s my mother bought a 'twin-tub' machine. She still took sheets and towels down to the local laundry, who delivered them back to us all clean and ironed two days later.

    She got an automatic in the early 1970s.

    In my first year or so of marriage, in the early 1970s, we couldn't afford a washing machine, and we took everything to the local laundromat. We didn't buy a machine until - well, it must have been 1974 or 1975.

  • 1 year ago

    probably by hand

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.