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I borrowed this excerpt from another of my blog posts to share here.
Washing clothes! Oh if kids today only knew. At our house wash day started early, as soon as Mama got Daddy off to work and out of the house. We had a wringer washer and she had to use the bath tub as a rinse tub.
Mama would pull the washer near the bathroom door and fill it with hot water and add powdered tide. White clothes always went first. If there were a lot clothes the water would be changed but usually one tub of water did all the clothes. Load the clothes into the hot water, let the machine agitate for awhile. Then run each piece of clothing through the wringer and place it in the tub. The machine I remember most was electric but the older ones had to be agitated by hand and the wringer had a handle that was turned to wring the clothes. Ours had a motor that turned the wringers as clothing was fed through. After the clothing was rinsed in the clean water, it went back through the wringer again and into a basket. Then out to the clothes lines. We had five or six lines strung between metal "T" poles that had been secured into the ground with concrete, so the weight of the wet clothes would not pull them down.
Once I was tall enough I helped hang the clothes. Mama wouldn't let me use the wringer. She got her hand caught in one and was afraid I would get hurt. We had a lot of people in our house at times and a lot clothes. By the time enough had been washed that all the lines were full, usually the first clothes hung, had dried and were taken down to make room for the next load. In the summer my sister Ann and I were always home to help but once school started Mama was on her own. It was an all day job and Mama washed the clothes and hung them out year round. Rainy days would delay wash day and in the winter she sometimes had to wait for the warmer days. I do remember when clothes froze on the lines, but they seemed to dry anyway. When I was about 10, I think, an automatic coin laundry opened in the old Roxy theater. By then my sister was married and she would bring her laundry and we would take Mama's and go there to wash clothes in bad weather. Mama still washed and hung the clothes in good weather until she moved from Meridian in 1972. And next came ironing day!