Advertisement in Woman's Way magazine, 1964

A Washing Machine in the House

Jennifer Meehan recalls the transformative effect that a washing machine had on her mother’s daily routine:

“She had washing for nine people, and she did it on a Monday. In those days everybody washed on a Monday. She did the washing in a tin bath, put on two chairs in the kitchen, with a washboard. She would rub the clothes up and down the washboard, which had glass waves across it.

All day washing

Advertisement from The Irish Housewife annual.
Washing machines were regularly advertised as ‘must-have’ modern technologies in women’s magazines in the 1960s.

She’d be exhausted by the end of it, but she accepted it because that’s the way life was in those days.

A washing machine came into the house in the late ’60s. It was marvellous. It cut her washing by half a day. She didn’t have to get water brought to the house. On a Sunday night two of the family would have to go to the pump to collect buckets of water. And then on Monday morning she’d put it into big pots to be boiled and then poured into the bath to do the washing. She didn’t have to boil up the water. The machine did all that for her”.

Contributed by Jennifer Meehan.

Jennifer & Patrick Meehan on their wedding day, 18 July 1978. Pictured with Jennifer's parents, Kevin & Kathleen Byrne.
Jennifer & Patrick Meehan on their wedding day, 18 July 1978. Pictured with Jennifer’s parents, Kevin & Kathleen Byrne.

Have a memory of the 1960s that you’d like to share? Found out more here.