Watch out for the ringer!!!|
A family of say, two adults and two children might fill four or five washing machines a week. Sorting the clothes out into different colours and materials, stuffing them in the machine, and putting all the powders in might take ten minutes.
Before washing machines became common (in the 1950s and the 1960s for most people, but later for poorer people) washing the same amount of clothes by hand took hours and hours of hard rubbing and squeezing.
And whilst the washing machine and after that, its trusty friend, the tumble dryer is doing its work, people get that most precious of modern commodities (products) time. Time to do other jobs, and hopefully time to relax.
Our "machine" was out in the shed behind the garage and it was next to a large cement sink. The machine was certainly not sound proofed like todays and we were cautioned to keep clear of the rollers. Later the rollers had a slip-clutch so you would not go through the ringer if you got caught in it.
I remember the handle on the top which controlled the direction the ringers would turn. That was so you could squeeze the water out and then not have to put the clothes back through the ringer.