Rinso Soap and so much more...
Growing up in Hammond,
Indiana, our mothers loved dirt! They talked about it, they looked for
it, they cleaned and washed, dusted table tops and washed some more.
For the most part, washing clothes in the 1940's and 50's was a
laborious task. Electricity made the chore a little more enjoyable but
you needed one of the new wringer washer for the job.
Machine to the left shows the emergency release on the right side of the wringer.
This is a 36 inch wooden tool used with a wringer washer to fish out clothing from the wringer washer. Remember the agitator could catch your hand (another danger of washday!) so the wooden stick would be used by the operator. This wooden tool was made in 8th grade Edison shop class. My mother kept it for more than 60 years. I found it in her basement next to her laundry tub after she passed away.
So our Moms all needed soap! Laundry soap, to be sure. It came from Lever Brothers!
What kid from Hammond wasn't proud of Rinso Soap? After all, we had a building with a box of Rinso Soap placed as a 40 foot tower, the crown jewel of Lever Brothers in north Hammond.
Whenever our parents would drive north on Calumet Avenue toward Lake Michigan, kids would start searching the Hammond skyline for the box of Rinso Soap! It was a cherished landmark to every civic minded kid from Hammond. It was right up there with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Empire State Building, and the pyramids of Egypt! And it was ours!
Hammond kids going to Boy Scout Camp or visiting with other kids in Chicago would always brag about our box of Rinso soap "ten stories tall." The height and size of the Rinso Soap box could be embellished depending on how much was necessary to impress the listener.
Saves Coal Every Wash
Yet another reason to
Not having clothes
dryers, everyone had to hang their laundry outside to dry.
THE BASIC RULES FOR CLOTHESLINES:
(If you don't know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)
1. You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes--walk the entire lengths of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.
2. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.
3. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail! What would the neighbors think?
4. Wash day on a Monday! . .. . Never hang clothes on the Weekend, or Sunday, for Heaven's sake!
5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y'know!).
6. It didn't matter if it was sub zero weather....clothes would "freeze-dry."
7. Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were "tacky!"
8. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.
9. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.
10. IRONED? Well, that's a whole other subject!
Stamping bars of soap at the Hammond plant.
Read about the new technologies that made soap making easier and
more cost effective! Check here!
Aerial view of Lever Brothers: Expanded and Remodeled 1954
Delivering Rinso Soap in Europe.