When I was young, I remember folks in Richfield still arguing about the War of Rebellion/War Between the States. Before the advent of mass television and media, and regions of the country were more isolated, it was much more common to have “regional” accents. Most such unique and “old time” differences are gone. It’s very rare to hear anyone still say worsh and the war is usually only mentioned when a few folks demand to erase any history or mark of those who lost. (As a personal note: My family had soldiers on both sides of the conflict. One uncle served on the Federal side, while his brother, also my uncle, served the Confederacy. One brother believed in the rights of the individual States and his sibling believed in Union. They “met” at Fredericksburg, and managed not to kill each other, …not for lack of trying. And several years later returned home, able to once again resume family ties.)
The museum now has a new exhibit, Wash Day. We recently relocated the Blaine-Stewart Cigar Factory, and in its place in the main barn we have gathered our large collection of worshing machines and devices. The collection begins with very early “easy washers” which are simply a tin cone affixed to a wood handle that you would lift up and push down in a bucket of water to remove dirt from clothes. The collection continues on to wood, tin and/or glass scrub boards. Washing machines later came into use incorporating these two devices to make washing much easier. And, of course, later yet, agitator and wringer washers were developed and came into use. In the collection is also many ironing boards, wood heated and electric irons, wash tubs and stands, clothes drying racks and gas powered Maytag Washing Machine engines.
It has been said that the advent of washing machines and devices were the single greatest invention that brought freedom to women. Come visit the museum to see the evolution of washing machines. From work saving, to life transforming.