Daily Archives: July 25, 2011

Clean Underwear and Hard Times

I think my mom would have made a deal with the devil for one of these in 1947.  She didn’t get one, nor anything else of the sort until around 1957, but I don’t recall her washing clothes in a washtub after the early 1950s.  From around 1954 until she got a home washing machine she went to the Laundromats with most of the other ladies.  I’m guessing this one was probably manufactured in the late 1940s.

I’d watched in one of the thrift stores in town for some while, them asking $55, then marking it down to $35, nobody interested enough to plug it in and find out if it worked.  But after it had been there long enough to cause me to figure they were getting tired of seeing it I plugged it in.


No vibration, nothing moving, just a clicking of the spring loaded timer and the sound of an electric motor trying to push the immoveable object.  I unplugged it more quickly than I plugged it in, carried it up to the cashier and told him it didn’t work, told him what it was doing and what was going to happen if someone plugged it in and left it trying to run.

“We can’t fix it.  We don’t have a repair department.”

“Yeah, maybe nobody can.  They haven’t manufactured parts for it in 50 years.  But maybe someone can.”

“Do you want to try?”

“Maybe.  How much do I have to risk betting I can?”

He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

The only tool required to get it running was my foldup Leatherman, oil, and a rag. It’s out there washing seven pairs of my jockey shorts at the moment.  I don’t envy it.

Been a long while since I’ve been so blessed.