Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Front-Loading Television

Actually, it was a little bit before television. Maybe there were a very few here and there around town, but they would have been quite unusual and stations were only on for scant hours a day. That would have been around 1944 or 1946.

I remember spending some time watching the front-loading Bendix washing machine in my grandmother’s kitchen. It replaced something, perhaps a table, and it had a window in the front door. So I could see the water sloshing around, the clothes rocking back and forth and, then, the spin cycle. It was all very exciting for a young boy. You can imagine how I felt when Dr. Swanson, down the street, got a tv and I could watch “Six-Gun Playhouse” from New York City’s channel 11.

We still used solar heat to dry the clothes: a clothes line held up by a couple of boards with notches in them. Dryers don’t give the same smell as clothes that have been snapping in the sun and breeze all afternoon.

Seems to me that I beat carpets out there, too. We seemed to have a regular carpet beater and why we didn’t use the Hoover vacuum cleaner is beyond me. Maybe you beat them when the dirt was deeply embedded. I remember being amazed at how much dirt came out, no matter how much I beat the carpets.

My grandmother kept a pencil or two on the woodwork above the Bendix. It’s important to have a pencil handy at different spots in the house; you never know when you will need one.


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