Vintage Monday–A Unique Farmhouse Laundry Gadget

I’m back to share more vintage with you.  Last week I shared some vintage farmhouse items that my neighbor passed along to me and today I’m sharing another vintage item from the same neighbor’s collection, a laundry agitator.

Vintage Monday - Sharing unique vintage and antiques from my collection. virginiasweetpea.com

This laundry agitator is from Iowa, like many of the other items that were passed along to me from my neighbor.

Can you imagine filling a tub with water that you had to heat on a wood stove, adding your clothing plus soap that you made yourself with lye, and then agitating the clothes with this tool?

That sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?  The next time you dread doing laundry, think about how hard doing laundry used to be.Hibbard Clothes Agitator - This tool was used to wash clothes in the old days when it was done outdoor in wash tubs. virginiasweetpea.com

 

This tool measures 41.5” long and the “plunger” has a diameter of about 8”.

I will admit that this gadget gave me a chuckle.  Doesn’t it look like a toilet plunger?

Vintage Laundry Agitator - This Hibbard clothes agitator was used back when clothes were washed outdoor in a bin by hand. Sounds like hard work, doesn't it? See more at virginiasweetpea.com.

 

This is the underside of the plunger.  I would imagine that this tool was pretty harsh on clothing.

Details of a vintage Hibbard clothes agitator used to wash clothes before clothes washers were readily available to farm families. virginiasweetpea.com

 

Can you imagine the stories that this tool could tell?  I wonder how long it was used and if it was used by one family.

I would imagine when the owner purchased a modern washer that she was more than happy for this gadget to be stored in the barn with other unused farm things.

 

If you like this, please pin it for others to discover!

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Vintage Farmhouse Laundry Agitator - This antique tool was used to wash clothes in the old days. virginiasweetpea.com

 

See all of my Vintage Monday posts here.

I’ll be back on Wednesday with another Frank Lloyd Wright home to share.  When we visited Fallingwater, we were able to see a second home in the area.

Comments

  1. ColleenB.~Texas says:

    You are so lucky to have such wonderful neighbors and to receive such great vintage items. I have never used a laundry agitator but I have had used a laundry scrub board back in the day.
    Oh, how I remember growing up heating up water on the stove cause we had no indoor running hot and cold water. Had a little red pump mounted on kitchen sink area to where we had to pump the water and then heat it up for dishes, baths etc.
    I now own that red pump but thankfully not in use today as once used. Used more for yard decoration now

    • Sweet Pea says:

      It’s great that you still have the red pump but I’m glad that you no longer use it for its original purpose. We forget how easy we have it with modern conveniences.

  2. What a great item! Are you using it for décor? I would not physically be able to do laundry that way! My only laundry problem is that it is downstairs.
    AnnMarie recently posted…Spring Musings….My Profile

    • Sweet Pea says:

      I have a very small laundry room in the basement and there is no place in it for decor. I’d like to somehow use it but for now it is sitting in my basement with other decor items that I’m not currently using. Have a great week!

      Paula

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