A few changes in the last 80 years that I remember.

In a summer in Palo Alto when Dad was working on a PHD at Stanford in the early 1930’s, we didn’t have a refrigerator in our rental.  The ice box had a top compartment where The ice man came each day to put a block of ice inside. Below a couple of small doors opened to contain milk, butter and any other food that could spoil.

Wash day, at home too, was usually on Monday.  You would sort the clothes into whites, colored, and darks, and hand wash clothes were placed in a separate pile.Then there was the good old wringer washing machine, and women were grateful to havethat.  You filled it

with washtubwater, soap, and bleach for whitesWringer Washing machine and it would agitate them.  Then you put them through the wringer, one at a time that was positioned to drop them into a tub of clean water to rinse.  You had to be careful not to catch your hand or hair or clothes in the wringer.  Next you turned the wringer so you could put each rinsed piece through it to drop into a clothes basket.  Then you’d put the next load in the washer to agitate Dangerous wringer while with an apron full of clothes pins, you would hang the first load on the clothes line.Clothespins.clothes on lineclothesline

When you brought the dry clothes in, you had a clothes basket of wicker lined with an old cotton blanket.  With a pint sized bottle corked with a spray top. you sprinkled all of the clothes to be ironed (which was most) rolled them up and packed them into the basket and then pulling the blanket sides around them so they would be evenly damp by Tuesday which was ironing day.

There was no fast food in the thirties, unless you counted an ice cream cone at the drug store.  Your vegies were done from the plant.  For green beans , we had to break the ends off and pull the strings down the side and discard.  Then we snapped them into about 2” pieces.  Potatoes had to be peeled and cut up.  Pinto beans had to be washed and soaked over night.  You get the picture?  Cooking three meals a day was not easy, but we didn’t know anything different and did what we had to do.

In the later half of the thirties in school, I learned to use an ink pen by dipping it into an ink well on each desk and then write on the paper, re-dipping it frequently.  Fountain pens came in the forties where you filled the pen from an ink bottle and wrote with it until it ran out and you had to refill it.  Then in the early fifties ball point pens were developed.

This is enough for tonight.  I’ll save other things for another night.


About Bertie

Retired and luvin' it.
This entry was posted in Family, Memories, vintage and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A few changes in the last 80 years that I remember.

  1. Jullie.B says:

    I do remember how wringer washer and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes, and garments sometimes get stuck going around and around and around those wringers. I remember having to disassemble the whole wringer head to get something untangled. and I ruined a couple of shirts
    Did you ever get anything caught in a wringer?or ruined a couple of shirts? Thanks for the reminders .

    • Bertie says:

      Yes, I do remember diapers catching and wanting to go round and round. I don’t remember ruining anything but it was so long ago. a lot of the memory was watching Mom in the 30’s, but I had a wringer type when I was newly married in 1953 and for a few years.I write about it thinking some day my grandchildren and great G. C.’s might be interested. So much has changed in my almost 81 years. Glad you liked it.

      Bertie Blog: Beach Gal Bertie

  2. Gandalfe says:

    What’s with those new-fangled washing unit thingees. That’s what the creek is for. That hardware will never catch on! ;0)

  3. Beth Marie says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post Bertie! I remember most of those things.

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