Before washing machines, people did laundry by hand. It was hard and it took forever. This is a great example of an early machine.



  • Fact 1: The first mechanical washer was patented in England in 1691, and the first combination washer/wringer appeared in Canada in 1843.
  • Fact 2: The electric washing machine was developed in the early 1900s, and by 1928 annual sales reached nearly one million.
  • Fact 3: The first coin-operated laundromat, built by Andrew Clein of Fort Worth, Texas, opened in 1934.
  • Fact 4: Electric operation allowed washing machines to spin clothes dry, eliminating the dangerous mangle formerly used to wring clothes.
  • Fact 5: The time and labor savings afforded by washing machines has been cited as a major factor in the women's liberation movement of the 20th century.

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