The wash house was not very far from the house and was used every Monday to do the laundry. It was not a very big building with only enough space for the washing machine, a couple of tubs that held the rinse water and limited clothes line to use in bad weather.
On wash day a large free standing black iron kettle was filled with water carried from
the well. After the
The two galvanized tubs were set up inside the wash house and they also had to be filled with water carried from the well. These tubs held cold water and were used to rinse the soap out of the clothes
The washer was operated with a gasoline one cylinder motor and it was loud and popped on a regular timing. The hand crank ringer was used to take the soapy water out of the clothes before they were put in the rinse water. The clothes were sorted as they went through the ringer. All of the women's dresses, the men's shirts, some of the linens were set aside to be starched. The clothes were then taken to the clothesline to be hung up to dry. when the wash was dry it was brought into the house to be sorted and folded. The things that were starched were sprinkled with water and rolled up so the water would make them just damp enough to iron.
Ironing was the next day. All the girls dresses, all the men's shirts, all the dish towels, the pillow cases and the table linens were ironed so you can imagine, ironing took all day.
The flat iron we used when I was pretty young was heated on the cook stove. When I got older we had a gasoline iron. This iron had a round container on the back that held the gasoline The iron came with a special air pump so we could pump air into the container which forced the air and gas into the sole plate. I'm surprised it didn't blow up because flames came out the side vents of the iron as we were ironing. Sure made you keep that old iron moving because the flames burned your hands if you didn't keep the iron moving in order to make the flames go toward the back of the iron.