“Recipe for washing clothes

1. Build fire in back yard to heat kettle.

2 Set tubs so smoke won’t blow in eyes if wind is pert

3. Shove one who cake of lye soap in boiling water.

4. Sort thing. Make 1 pile colored, 1 pile white, 1 pile breeches and rags.

5. Stir flour in cold water to smooth. Thin down with boiling water. Starch.

6. Rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard then boil. Rub colored but don’t boil. Just rinse and starch.

7. Take white things out of kettle with broom handle. Then rinse, blue and starch.

8. Spread tea towels on grass; others on fence.

9. Put rinse water on flower beds.

10. Scrub porch with soapy water.

11. Turn over the tubs to drain.

12. Go put on a clean dress. Smooth hair with side combs. Brew tea. Sit and rest. Rock a spell. Count your blessings.”

-anonymous note (c. 1900) on display at the Whistler Museum and Archives, in Whistler, British Columbia

I found this in a magazine I was looking through the other day. Thought I would share this with you all. The article goes on to say, that Mondays was wash day. Sunday, you wore your best (and the only thing clean!) and had a big dinner. That night all clothes were put into the kettle to soak. Since this was an all-day event, cooking was out of the question, so I’m guessing they ate leftovers or whatever they could find from the day before. The day of rest was also a day to build up your strength and stamina for the next day of washing. “It took considerable strength to scrub clothes up and down a washboard and then run them through the treacherous wringer. As soon as the family had any discretionary income, the lady of the house used the surplus to hire a laundress.” Amazing, read #12. The last she does after such a day of hard work (esp. if she had little ones around) is to count her blessing. I know that I am counting mine. I don’t mind now the 3 or 4 loads of laundry I do each day. And very thankful to the Lord for allowing mankind to come up with something like the washer (and dryer, though I love hanging my clothes out on the line)! Though the rest of you might enjoy this…

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