Out, Out, Black Spot

Today I grab a stain-removing stick full of chemicals.

My mother soaked whites in cold water and bleach. Colored clothes got a good rub of soap and waited for their turn in the washing machine.

Previous generations?

A washboard was more than a musical instrument.

Picture yourself with soapy clothes fresh from the hot water (perhaps a boiling kettle). Rub, rub, rub. Cloth against rippled metal or carved wood to loosen and remove stubborn dirt from aprons, underclothes, and workday trousers.

No need to do formal exercises to maintain upper body strength when washday is near. Or many other household tasks which we now turn over to electric servants.

Louisa, the young Deutsch immigrant in New Dreams, a sweet romance, encounters an additional complication while doing the laundry.

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