Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What - No Concrete Troughs?

I can remember my grandmother's washhouse.
The little room out next to the outdoor dunny with the wood fired copper in the corner and concrete wash troughs.  Every Monday the copper was stoked up with great gurglings of boiling water with lashings of Velvet soap. The clothes were boiled to within an inch of their lives, ladled from the copper to the concrete troughs, rinsed, wrung out by hand, or if the woman was lucky, put through a hand wringer,and hung on lines propped up with poles to keep the laundry out of the dirt. The last of the boiling water was used to clean the toilet, floors, paths and anything else that needed a 'good wash'.
This ritual was carried out by armies of other red-faced and sweating women across the suburbs.

Now, in my mother's house well, we were posh.
We had an indoor washhouse. 
It still had a copper, gas fired,
                                               photo - Powerhouse Museum
and concrete troughs. 

but the drudge of washing did not change in our house until the arrival of the "Wizz-Dry"
This was a round rotating tub that fitted into the troughs and was powered by a jet of water. Dripping wet clothes were loaded in and the tap turned on full and awaaaaaaay it went. Wasted lots of water, but spun-dried the clothes better than the modern machine. Could always tell when it was in use as the whole house shook and the windows rattled.
All this laundry excitement was swept away with the arrival of the Simpson Automatic Washer, which faithfully served my mother for 35 years and went on to be used by the new owners when she sold the house.

So what has all this to do with me?
Well I now have this.
Yep - a glass laundry, right next to the glass shower. 
Equipped with a manual input automatic solar washing machine. Due to tank water I use the rinse water to wash the next load, but being able to load the clothes and push a button is luxury, even if I have to pump water out of a bin back into the machine.

My clothes than go to the nearby solar clothes drying system, complete with props. 

This system comes with a uncontrollable, intermittent, randomly activated rinse system which is action today. Oh well at least the tanks are being topped up.

My only puzzlement is, that if this facility is outside then according to my experience it is a washouse, but it does not have a copper or concrete troughs but a washing machine, which only occur in laundries, so do I have a

or a 


  1. Well, whatever you call it - your solar powered-automatic rinse-glass laundry-washhouse is posh!

  2. Olwen McNeill - Your daughterApril 2, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Yes as the McDonals add says 'it's a little bit fancy' what about calling it the 'wash-trium' or another fancy name for a glass wash house :o)

  3. Awesome use of your tank water, and from the washing machine, were does it go next?

  4. Superb what you can do with these items. We sell conventional farming concrete troughs but its given me a few ideas about where to use them other than on livestock. Very creative.