39. Washing machine

39 - washing machine


Pouce Coupe Museum

Robert Baxter packed this machine to Pouce Coupe in 1912. Mrs. Baxter used it for washing family clothing and the clothing of people resting at Baxter’s Stopping Place. This machine was hand operated. To operate, the arm must be pulled along a horizontal plane against a spring, which then returns the arm to its neutral position. This causes the vanes to mount on a connecting shaft and swish water through the clothes. The washing machine was one of the greatest inventions to come from the turn of the century. It reduced the hours spent on one of the most laborious domestic chores women were expected to perform. Some economists and historians have suggested that the washing machine and other  ‘mundane household technologies’ (such as piped gas and water) led to huge changes for women including: a greater ability to enter the workforce, having fewer children and changing their bargaining power within the household. (Forbes Magazine, 02 Dec 2013).