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Intro House Cleaning Laundry Servants

Illustration

  Laundry

Rubbing, pounding, boiling, and squeezing are not actions most of us associate with doing laundry, but at the turn of the century, this was the way they washed the clothes. Forty years before the advent of washing detergents,
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laundry was a Herculean task -- it could take days just to clean the family's underwear. Outer clothes were merely brushed down in order to reduce the back-breaking chore of washing, which required soaking items in boiling water and then scrubbing them with soda crystals by hand -- as many as three times. The process, including a number of other laborious steps, was not only exhausting but also rubbed hands painfully raw.



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