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Top 10 Appliances Most Americans No Longer Use


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Hand-cranked Wringer Washer
Hand-cranked wringer washers made doing the laundry easier, but the addition of electricity and gas-powered washers improved the idea still further.
Hand-cranked wringer washers made doing the laundry easier, but the addition of electricity and gas-powered washers improved the idea still further.
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While cranking your own washer may not sound so convenient, it beat the old method of scrubbing a shirt over a washboard and pounding it with a rock.

The first hand-cranked models appeared around the turn of the century, although Maytag placed a small electric motor on a model as early as 1911 [source: Maytag Collectors Club]. The company produced some models before 1920 that had two options for power: electrical power, or batteries for homes without electricity. Many early models had an attached hand-cranked wringer to cut down the time spent on the clothesline. From the 1920s through the 1940s, households could choose between electrical and gas-powered engines to agitate the laundry.

Of course, despite the rows of shiny, space age front-loaded laundry appliances on display in the home stores, the hand-cranked washer is making a small comeback. A few new models are being marketed as a money-saving, socially conscious way to manage the laundry.


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