Wash Day in McIntyre

Coal dust from the mines was ever present and a real challenge to the housewife especially when she washed clothes. This photo from the mid-1940s shows a clear, dust-free day, perfect for hanging out wash. During this period the washing of clothing was done by hand and the use of a washboard. The board was placed in a sink or tub and the housewife would bend over the board to scrub the clothing against the ridges of the implement.

During the early 1940s the average cost of selected items for the household was $29.95 for a Kitchen-Aid Mixer, $3.49 for a Sears teakettle, $0.50 for a quart size Pyrex pie plate, and $119.95 for a Kenmore washer. 



Scott Derks, The Working Class, vol. 1, Working Americans 1880-1999  
(Lakeville, CT: Grey Publishing Inc., 2000), 281,309.  

Photo: courtesy Ed Setlock family collection.

Photo of washboard from: The Columbus Washboard Company Product Line. n.d. <http://www.columbuswashboard.com/products.html> (21 October 2001).

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