Thursday, January 21, 2021



WASHING MACHINES . . . Love them! by Molly Jebber, Amish Historical Romance

We use washing machines often. Before washing machines, clothes were washed in streams. The clothes were rubbed with stones or wooden planks and adding sand to eliminate more stubborn stains. They wou
ld twist and beat the garments with a wooden beater to remove excess water. These spots were called wash houses.

Before wash houses were built, some villagers had only dirty water to clean their clothes, and they ran the risk of exposing themselves up to cholera, smallpox and typhoid fever. The wash houses were built by the state and placed in towns as a designated place for washerwomen with clean water to help promote better hygiene.

The wash houses provided a social time for women as they cleaned their clothes. I love they found a way to enjoy their time together. They chatted, gossiped, and sang to pass the time as they worked. Wash houses stopped being built as running water became available to houses.

Jacob Christian Schäffer invented the washing machine in 1767, but it wasn’t until 30 years later that Nathan Briggs obtained the patent for a washing machine.

It wasn’t until 1905 that the first drum washing machine came about and had warm water to clean the clothes in the tank by having a spot underneath where coal could be used to heat the water.

In 1920, electric washing machines were made, but only the lever was electronic. In 1930, automatic washing machines were available. Thermostats, power switchers and timers were added. From the 1980’s on, washers kept improving.

Today, we have washers working by Wi-Fi, a touch screen for controls, detergent or no detergent is needed, and they keep improving.

I write Old Order Amish, and there are still Amish who use the non-electrical version of the washer.

I remember my aunt standing on the back porch when I was a little girl and feeding the dirty clothes through the two rollers and into the tank beneath to clean her clothes. She called it “wash-day” because it took most of the day to do this for a large family.

I took my washer and dryer for granted until I did this bit of research. I’m very thankful for them after reading what some women had to go through to clean their clothes.

Thank you for visiting me here today!!

The winner for December's post contest for the $10 Amazon card is Susan Lulu! 

Releases Jan. 26 in stores and online wherever books are sold.


  1. Hi Molly, thanks for the post. My mom had a wringer washer and I remember helping her. One of my favorite memories is waking up in the morning and hearing the familiar chug-chug sound that the washer made.

    1. Thank you for visiting me here today. It's fun to learn more about each other through these posts. I smile when I think of my aunt who I'd stay with in the summers for a couple of weeks and I was fascinated with her doing laundry this way.

  2. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. My sisters laundry room is very rustic. She has a numberof these on her wall, all different. I have one on my laundry room wall. I remember my grandmother using an old washer and wringer

    1. Thank you for commenting on the my post. I appreciate it. It's fun to remember how our loved ones did things differently, like laundry. At the time, I took for it for granted when my aunt did her laundry this way. Now that she's passed, it's a precious memory. I like the way you and your sister have used the washboards!

  3. Molly, interesting history about the washing machine. I remember mother having a wringer washer when I was very little and stuck my hand in their one day (about 4). Thankfully no injury just lots of crying.

  4. Hi Marilyn! Love you, dear friend. Oh my goodness! That would hurt!