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Jennifer's Free Dollhouse Printables
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dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent
dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent
dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent


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The Reckitts complex at Backbarrow closed because of a collapse in the demand for washing blue with the introduction of domestic washing machines and a new range of detergents.
they have a very up to date and interesting website

old reckitts blue ad

dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent
dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent
dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent
dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent
dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent
dollhouse printable box of laundry detergent
an old advertisement for soap

an old advertisement for soap

Laundry Day in the 1940'S

More of my childhood memories.

When I was a pre-school child Monday was always washing day, not just in our house, but in the whole area. When I think of it now, perhaps all women of England did the wash on Mondays. We lived in row housing, as did all of our family, our street was located in a valley, steep hills surrounded us. We could see for miles from our front window, up and up, there was street upon street of row houses, and on Mondays we could see hundreds of clothes lines fluttering with white sheets.

My Mum was always agitated on Mondays, I don't wonder at it, I would probably cry if I had to do what she had to do on washing day. I was not allowed to be in the kitchen on washday, it was too dangerous. I had to sit on a little stool and observe from the doorway to the living room. The first thing my Mum did was fill the copper, a big tub with legs lined with copper, which had a gas burner underneath. Pail after pail of water was poured into the copper while the gas burner's blue flame heated the water to boiling. The soap was flaked from bar with a kind of potato peeler into the copper, then the white sheets were added. The copper would boil away, while my Mum moved the sheets around with a big stick, plunging them in and out of the water, keeping her eye on me to make sure that I stayed on my little stool.

Meanwhile more huge pots of water were being heated on the gas stove, these were to fill the big galvanized iron tubs that sat around on the floor of our tiny kitchen. Steam was everywhere; at times I could barely see my mother through the fog. After the sheets had boiled for some time they were pulled out of the boiling water with the wooden stick and placed into a tub, now came the really hard part. The tub of steaming sheets was hauled outside.The mangle sat just outside the back door. The mangle was a monstrous ancient metal contraption with wooden rollers, which I was ‘‘Never to touch''. I remember watching my poor Mum pulling the sheets up to the rollers and cranking the huge handle at the same time, her hands steaming and red from the hot clothes and the cold air, it must have been so hard.

After the first mangling the white washing was rinsed, once in tub cold clear water, and again in a tub of water, which had been ''blued''. Mum always had a block of Reckitts Blue tied into small square of cotton, she swished this through the water. Reckitts Blue tinged the final rinse water slightly blue, this made the white washing whiter than white, sparkling white, gleaming white, the whitest wash on the street. Each rinse had to be followed by another mangling; this time my Mum’s hands were icy cold. That's what I see most clearly in my mind now, my Mum's cold wet hand gripping the handle as she struggled to turn the old wooden rollers of the mangle.

Once the boiling, rinsing and wringing of the whites was finished I was allowed back into the kitchen. The washing of the 'darks' was no less strenuous, but the danger of anyone getting scalded was over. Washing the darks involved lots of hand scrubbing on the washboard and lots of lovely soapy bubbles. If my mother was in a good mood, she would blow amazing bubbles for me. There were never enough bubbles to satisfy me, and I would pester her for more. I was usually banished back to the living room doorway, so that Mum could get her work done.

More rinsing, more hauling tubs of wets clothes outside, more mangling. God Bless her, sometime in the middle of all this she would manage to peel and cook the potatoes for the noon dinner. We usually had canned corned beef, canned baked beans and mashed potatoes on wash day This was my favourite dinner. Since our houses were all in such close proximity,hanging the washing on the clothes lines, made wash day a somewhat public affair. All of the clothes lines were raised up high on a pole that was attached to each house, enabling all the women on the street to get a good look at there neighbours' linens and clothing and unmentionables.

Having the whitest wash on the street was extremely important to my mother. It was also important to her to be the first on our street to have all the washing pegged and the clothesline lifted high. It was as if there was some unspoken competition amongst the neighbour woman. Mrs-Ruby-from-two-doors-down was my Mum's main rival for first place. My Mum would hoist that clothesline like it was the flag of our kingdom; hers was a wash to be proud of. If she raised her clothesline before Mrs-Ruby-from-two-doors-down, she was jubilant.

Some years later, in the early fifties, my parents bought a new modern wringer, it was cream with red pin striping and sleek space age lettering. It had rubber rollers and was kept inside the kitchen. My mother was over the moon happy about her new wringer. When we immigrated to Canada in 1957, Mum used an electric wringer washer, continuing the practise of a blue rinse.

She loved the wringer washer, but she resisted buying an automatic washing machine for years, because there was no cycle for her beloved Reckitts Blue.

Written in loving memory of my mother Barbara 1918-2000
I miss you Mum

Links to my other web pages
View Dollhouses Free Printables Tutorials and How To's
View my Art Dolls at
My Miniature Market.
Sculpting polymer clay people is another aspect of of the miniatures hobby. I love creating little 5-6 inch polymer clay ''dolls'', but I am not a big fan of putting ''dolls'' in a dollhouse. I placed my dolls in a Victorian Market setting.

FREE Dollhouse Wallpaper

Free dollhouse wallpaper.Just download and print on your computer

Let's make a dollhouse size sofa
Here you will find simple instructions on how to make a basic sofa out of just cardboard and fabric.
Once you master the technique of how to make a mini sofa, you can make any style you like.

View My Miniature Shops

Miniature shops are my latest passion. So far I have a toy shop, lingerie shop, shoe shop , hat shop and bakery

Jen's Printables
FREE Dollhouse Printies
Lots of printable boxes from different era'sincluding food items, household products, toys, magazines. Printables gift bags and boxes for all occasions
Let's Make dollhouse Curtains from Paper
Dollhouse curtains don't have to be made from fabric like real size curtains. It is easy, economical and effective to make them from paper
Carole's Dollhouse
This dollhouse is a modern day family home.
Carole's Lavender Cottage
This house is set in the earlier part of the 20th C. The house is occupied by an elderly lady and her companion

Kerry's Dollhouse
This dollhouse belongs to my daughter. It is the Orchid by Greenleaf.
Jens Printables 3
More FREE Printable Doll's House Wallpaper

How to make a realistic Ascot boiler

Carole made an Ascot boiler

and shared how she did with instructions and photos

my dollhouse button
Visit my Dollhouse
I made my own dollhouse in the mid 1980's. It is a treasured possession and has given me much happiness over the years. 2021
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Jennifer Brooks
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Jens Printables 2


Let's Build a Dollhouse
FREE printable plans and step by step photographs and instructions.
You don't need a lot of tools or know-how to build your own dollhouse.