~A Vintage Washing Machine Story~

Not long ago our five year old washer breathed it's last sigh and expired. We didn't give up hope right away, though. We called Repair Guy who diagnosed the problem and handed us the repair estimate. After we retrieved our jaws from the floor, banged our heads against the wall, and ran screaming into the street, we came to our senses and ordered a new machine. The cost, as it turned out, was not much more than the repair estimate. The new machine is shown in the top photo. It's almost exactly like the old washer. That sounds so odd. How can a five year old washing machine be called old!
As the new machine was being installed, I was reminded of my first washing machine. I reminisced about the good old days and my Easy Automatic Washing Machine, manufactured by Syracuse Washing Machine Corporation, during the 1940's or 1950's. The photo above is from an owner's manual found online.
When my first husband and I were a young married couple, in the early 1960's, he served in the USAF. During those years we often inherited or purchased items from people who were being reassigned and didn't want to bother with shipping; items, such as my Easy Automatic Washing Machine. We also inherited kittens and puppies!
Before we found the Easy Automatic or it found us, I did our laundry at the laundromat. That was great entertainment during those lean years of military service. After a few months of hauling baskets to the laundromat and home again, we decided to purchase our own washing machine. I can't remember the exact cost of the machine, but know it could not have been very much.

The machine sat in a corner of the kitchen of our tiny duplex until washday, when I would roll it over to the sink, hook up the hoses, plug it in, and fill the tub with laundry. At the end of the wash cycle the clothes were switched to a smaller tub, where they would spin, while I emptied the larger tub and refilled it. At the end of the rinse/spin cycle I carried the laundry to the clothesline in the back yard for drying. I would repeat the process until finished, then roll the machine back into the corner of the kitchen until the next washday. As much as I appreciated my Easy Automatic Washing Machine, going to the laundromat was lots more fun!
Above, the "old" washer. You can see the awkward position of the washer and dryer doors. When the new appliance was installed, I asked the fellows to reverse the machines and flip the dryer door. I'm happily, and more efficiently, doing laundry in my new washer.
J and I had the pleasure of touring the Elgin-Cottrell home, in Clarksville Missouri, Sunday. The home was featured in an article, by Elizabeth Maxson, in a recent issue of Romantic Homes. This 19th century home, on the banks of the Mississippi River, has been lovingly restored by the owner and furnished with exquisite antiques. We arrived before the scheduled tour hour. When I mentioned I write Back Porch Musings, Richard, a reader of my blog, graciously invited us into his home, right then and there. We not only toured the home and took many photos, we also visited Richard Cottrell's shop, Rose Cottage Antiques. I'll write about our visit with Richard and the tour of his lovely home and shop, later this week.