The art (and politics) of laundry

9 Jan

I’ve used Flickr a lot less since Pinterest came along, but it’s worth remembering that in addition to photos, Flickr is home to some incredible archives. I recently came across the Boston Public Library photostream which contains scans of the most amazing historical artwork, ephemera, advertising posters and photography.

You can spend hours getting lost in the collection but I picked out this little selection of nineteenth century laundry adverts. Feminists are advised to look away now!

vintage advertising poster laundry

vintage laundry advert

nineteenth century advertising poster

nineteenth century advertising

{all Boston Public Library}

Dare I ask who does the laundry in your house?!

5 Responses to “The art (and politics) of laundry”

  1. Michelle January 13, 2013 at 20:37 #

    These made me laugh out loud. I am glad I don’t have to sit at one of those wringers.

  2. Angella January 9, 2013 at 15:36 #

    I do all of the washing/drying of laundry (so I guess that would’ve been my seat at the Empire wringer) but my husband is the first to jump up and fold/put away…which is the drab part of the chore anyway.

    I love vintage ads with such scandalous scenarios that would have this modern society reeling if someone should attempt it today. I tend to take a second seat and watch with amusement more than anger at the outdated ideas.

    Enjoyable post. :)

  3. Claire January 9, 2013 at 12:21 #

    This is so funny! I am probably one of the luckiest women in the world in that my lovely husband does ALL the laundry in our house and what’s more enjoys it! He washes my clothes for me and folds them so that all I need to do is put them away. That’s one of his household jobs along with sorting out the rubbish each week and I do the other stuff. Works well for us!

  4. sianjoseph January 9, 2013 at 10:42 #

    I have to confess to being launder-in-chief here, although admittedly it is at my insistence after an upsetting incident involving a favourite jumper, my husband and a hot wash.

    Loving your ‘sexist’ tag!

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