Do you remember?

Who remembers seeing one of these in the laundry in the “olden days”? I can certainly remember when the copper was heated up with gas (in our house) and the sheets were boiled with Reckitts blue to make them white (makes sense -right?!).

Who would have expected to see one reincarnated as a water feature in an Open Garden?

the old laundry copper finds a new life in the garden.

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4 thoughts on “Do you remember?

  1. Ours wasn’t as fancy or as sturdy as that.. it was a wood burning one, and was the only source of hot water other than a kettle. mum used to bucket the water in… and when it was almost boiling, grate the soap into it, before adding clothes and stirring with a heavy wooden paddle. She thought she was in Heaven when Dad had a wringer attached to the laundry tub. I do remember Reckitts blue, also handy for bee stings. In fact, I used to still buy it when I was first married and had a wringer washing machine… back in the late 60’s, early 70’s…
    I love to see things like this recycled… I have an old wheelbarrow and a small galvanised tub in the front garden…

    • Peter’s thought was they’d replaced the inside barrel and I suspect he’s right. Wood burning -how tedious. Fancy having to bucket in the water!! I don’t remember Mum grating in the soap although she used to recycle the tiniest bit of sunlight soap. I’d think I was in heaven to be away from it altogether. It’s a wonder there weren’t more major accidents when they used to lift the boiling sheets and towels out with that wooden paddle (remember it all well). Ditto re the blue too. Then put them on the lines, and use the clothes prop to make sure the line didn’t sink to the ground. Not to mention starching etc etc. It was such a business. Who wrote about all this not too long ago…was it Rebelhand? Yes it was, this is the link http://rebelhand.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/what-did-mary-do-on-monday-womens-work/

      When we were first married, we lived in Alotau (where we’re going to visit soon). We had a twin tub, but of course in those days you HAD to use hot water in your washing so I’d have to chop the wood to heat the water first..then a quick spew in the garden when I became sick with my pregnancy. Joy oh joy. I’ll never take my automatic for granted 😉

      I used to have my grandparents’ old wooden wheelbarrow in the garden at Sunnybank Hills, filled with violets..it was gorgeous but eventually fell to bits, probably from the plants being watered. Which reminds me…my grandmother’s cane laundry basket went to my friend’s daughter recently.

  2. That looks really nice in the garden. We didn’t have anything like that in our basement laundry. I do remember a wringer washing machine. And I had a friend who boiled diapers in 1970 but I am pretty sure we had hot water hooked up to the washing machine. I know we did once I was old enough to notice. I do remember bluing but never used it.

    • It does look nice doesn’t it? I can’t imagine that those old boilers would have been too safe inside a house (ours was downstairs in the laundry and being high-set, the underneath had plenty of fresh air). The time will come when we will feel like dinosaurs for remembering any of this. Ah yes diapers/nappies…a whole load of tedium in themselves. No wonder my mother used to put me to work on Mondays when it was school holidays. Naturally I loved every minute…not 😉

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