Wednesday, March 02, 2011

This Modern Technical electrical age

My dishwasher broke down this week, refuses to work just keeps beeping at me telling me the door is open, but it's not. I'm having to wash up by hand, and I don't like it one little bit.
It has got me thinking about all the things we rely on nowadays that when I was a child we just didn't have, but our mothers got on with the day by hand.

A refrigerator in the home, unheard of, we have a meat safe a box with a wire mesh door and if you were lucky a larder with a marble slab
A dedicated bath room with toilet upstairs, we had a little room off my parents bedroom with a bath and a geyser (water heater) The toilet was outside the back door, freezing cold in winter.
A washing machine, mum used to wash everything in the sink using a wash board,
she would boil the sheets and towels in a boiler, a cylindrical tank in which you pour the water and light the gas under it. Once boiled the washing was removed with wooden tongs and put through a mangle two or three times for each item
I remember helping my mother fold the once mangled sheets so that she could put them through again and they came out so smooth that they didn't take much ironing.
Oh yes and a dolly blue was added to the rinse water to whiten the linen
I'm sure that over the next weeks I will think of other things but that will do for now.
Makes me realise how lucky I am to have all these labour saving devises
Just one more thing coming back to having to wash up by hand, Mum used washing soda, not the easy washing up liquid we have today, but it softened the water and removed grease just as easily

Oh and thanks to the internet (internet what the heck is that, my mother would have said) I was able to google for all those pictures of the thinks my mother would have recognised.


Jimjams said...

You're right Mary - we have a lot of labour saving devices - but we also have busier lives because of them!

Every time we have a power cut I am reminded that we have become over-reliant on electricity ... not just for the lights, cooking, heating, but also for access (via the PC & the internet) for our bank statements, telephone bills, travel arrangements, shopping receipts ...

Oh and I still use washing soda to do my sinks and drains every month or so as well as newspaper for my windows!

Lizzie said...

Yes, we were reminded of how lucky we are a couple of times just recently - my mum's dishwasher broke down in December, and we had to wait a while for the new one because of snowy weather. She got such sore hands washing up by hand for a week (she has arthritis and the dishwasher is a life-saver for her!). Poor mum... But now she has a nice new one - yay!
Then, we had a big power cut one afternoon/evening, that went on from 3pm to 8pm. We couldn't cook any tea - all-electric kitchen and no open fire any more - luckily the town wasn't affected, so we phoned for a take-away (not so unlucky now...). We actually enjoyed our evening, playing board games together by candle-light. It was so much fun we decided to do it regularly.
I remember having no automatic washing machine, just a single wash-tub and a seperate spin-dryer. My friend's mum had no bathroom; the loo was a tiny cold room just off the kitchen and the bath was actually In her kitchen, with a board on top - she used it as a shelf the rest of the time. Her kitchen had the bath, a stone sink with wooden drainer, a geyser for hot water, an electric cooker and a "copper" to heat water for the bath. Am I lucky - Certainly I am!!

A place for me to put the pictures of layouts I have done that I am pleased with, to put in the poems I write and to add snippets of things that have caught my eye