Monday, June 15, 2015

Bio #12 - Doing Dishes and Trouble, 1920s

Mary had to wash and I had to dry dishes when we were big enough. Most girls hate this job and so did we. Sometimes we were monkeys, and it took ages to get finished. We had a piano stool with a seat that spun around, and spent lots of time spinning each other around until we were dizzy. This once, instead of dishes, we had a better idea: get the stool in the kitchen and play leap-frog over it. So we had a lot of fun, until my dress caught on the edge and I went over, spraining both wrists. So I had both arms in a sling, and I dare say we would have got a thrashing apiece, but I was crying already with pain. That was the end of leap-frog and dishes for me for a few days.

Fern Bissle Peat quilt block 
Old-fashioned piano stool with claw feet and a rotating seat.
I have no photographs from this era, but this charming quilt block illustrates the method of doing dishes in 1925, likely a little later than the episode my mother describes. It gives a good idea of the equipment and methods they used. I'm fairly sure the piano stool looked much like the image above. You can see the potential for disaster, playing leap-frog while wearing a dress.