I posted an antique called a sad iron (or flat iron) in my Etsy shop today. Imagine having a couple of these, heating them on a wood burning stove, ironing with one until it cooled down, then switching it for a hot one! Metal handles had to be gripped with a thick cloth. In order to get the heat, imagine chopping the wood and hauling it in and building a fire. Even though many garments don’t need much ironing these days, I still love the comfort of cotton which does. Plugging in the iron and catching up on ironing feels like a luxury after thinking of the pioneers who worked so hard to accomplish the same tasks.
To get the clothes clean, pioneers pumped and hauled water, heated it on the stove and dumped it in a big tub. With organic lye soap which they’d cooked themselves, they physically washed by hand, with the use of a washboard, hand cranked clothes one-by-one through a wringer; then placed them in another tub of fresh water to rinse and cranked each garment through the ringer again! After all this, they threw the heavy water out the door. Not being able to toss them in a dryer, they hung all the garments to dry. In retrospect, I realize Life is Good as I took breaks from the computer to throw another load into the computerized washing machine and dryer. We should never complain about laundry in this day and age!
My husband is a picker, similar to the guys on the popular show “American Pickers”. Today he was restoring of one of his “finds” called an ice box, a modestly sized piece of solid oak furniture, well built with shelves and galvanized tin interior lining. It has a door where you place a big block of ice that was purchased from the iceman. The ice had been laboriously sawed out of frozen lakes. A drip pan was placed behind a wooden door at the bottom which had to be emptied every day. As I approach my modern refrigerator and dispense cubes of ice and filtered water without even opening the door, I think, what a blessing! I could go on, but you get the idea.