We all need to do laundry, defined as the washing of our clothing and bedding.
The chore of laundry has changed over time. While we now use machines to do the heavy work, throughout most of history this job is done by hand. Working people wash their own clothes, and are often paid to wash for the more affluent. While we see some cases of men doing laundry, women are often the main workforce for washing: laundering for their families, taking in the laundry of those who could pay, working in the homes of the rich, or working in industrial laundries.
Explore with us some of the tools, products and processes used for laundering in the Ottawa area. Some have changed over time, and others will be familiar – and others still have now made a comeback with the environmental movement.
Suggested use of the Laundry Exhibit Box is to encourage a guessing game with the objects. Each one is numbered, and corresponds to a page in this booklet that provides information.