A. Varesano interviewing Anna Timko -2- 6/23/72
couldn't put it on like you put this on. That thing wouldn't go unless, if you put the lid on it, and there was an arm, and you lay this arm over this lid. And when you laid this arm over this lid, then you could turn on the power, and it would run. But if you didn't have that arm, it wouldn't run. That arm, see, it was goin' back and forth, and that made it go. But it wasn't very good, because if clothes had a tear in it, somewhere, and one of these pages got into that hole, well it was nothing left of that thing any more, already! It was awful, you know, unhandy to use. So they must have been one of the first ones, because that was the one, my mother had that. She wasn't feeling well, already, so then, you know, they got that. She had cancer already, she was sick, already, then, you know, she couldn't do her work. And I used to go up there and do it.
AV: Well, now what did she use before these, any machines came out at all? How did they do it?
AT: They had hand-washing machines, but you had to stand there, you know, and work it yourself, with your hands.
AV: Do you remember when they just used scrub boards?
AT: I used a scrub board, til, I said, til 1928 I used a scrub board! The washboard. Well sure, I didn't have it, my mother had it, I didn't have any! I was doing my wash on a washboard!
AV: Oh, you did! How did you do it?
AT: Put water in a tub (did I kick you? I'm sorry.), put water in the tub, and use the washboard, and rub it on the washboard, and have another tub for rinsing water, and then rinse it out with this wringer.
AV: Would it be cold rinsing water?
AT: Well, you could use warm or cold. But we usually used cold water, because we didn't have any hot water in the house, you know. You had to heat all your water, you had big boilers, and we used to heat our water in that. Then we used to boil our clothes, too.
AV: Yeah? How?
AT: In this boiler. A big copper boiler. And you would put your clothes in there, and, everybody was boiling their clothes in them days.
AV: Why did you boil it?
AT: Well, to get most of the dirt out of it, you know, because you were scrubbin' and so much didn't come out of it, and then you would put soap suds in it, and water, and you put it on the stove, and you had to boil them. So, when my husband had spinal mengitis (sic) and the younger daughter, the second daughter, had no work - she worked in the store in Baltimore and the store burned down, so she was waiting for the repairs, so John called her, he said, You better go home, he said, because Mom's alone, so, he says Go home, while Dad is in the hospital. Come home. So she was coming home, and the neighbors there told, Isn't she afraid to come home? You know, that Daddy had spinal mengitis, she was coming home. She says, no, she says, I'm not afraid. She said, I know my mother will boil all the things. Which I did do, before she had come home, you know. The bedclothes, and everything, whatever he used, I washed everything and I put it in the boiler on teh stove and I boiled everything. So she says, I know, she says, my mother won't neglect it, she'll take care of it. And I did. I took care of all that stuff. So then, in 1928, I guess it was in January, when I got the washer. And I had that washer for forty years! Forty years! So many people had them. They were Easy Washers. And these were, oh, they had cups in them. It wasn't agitator, it was cups that were going up and down. It was copper, I don't know, was it copper or brass, whatever you want to call the tub. But it was a great big tub, see, because these cups had to run up and down. Well it
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