Some Dry Thoughts
September 2, 2013 § 4 Comments
One of the unexpected bonuses of leading “Living the Wright Way” (in-depth tours of the Dana-Thomas House) is the discussions that the guests generate as we tour the house. The group this week started imagining how clothes must have been dried when Susan lived at the Lawrence House. This was of particular interest to me because I went home after the tour to meet a delivery man who brought us a brand new dryer to replace the energy consuming monster we have been tolerating the past year. The coincidence inspired me to do some research on early 20th century laundry drying techniques, and I found that there is plenty of information on the internet.
As a result, my imagination has created a new image of the beautiful courtyard surrounding the house. Somehow clothes lines are extended throughout the yard, and laundry attached with spring-hinged clothespins is waving in the summer breeze. Linens are spread on the grass and across the bushes where they can dry in the fresh air and be bleached by the sun. In inclement weather, laundry was hung on wooden racks called clothes horses. I am imagining that when necessary, Susan’s staff set up dozens of clothes horses in the cloak room which adjoined the laundry room.
Although I know that the 1900 techniques for drying clothes are much better for our environment than my method, I suspect that the folks who did the laundry at the Lawrence House would prefer the time and space saving technology that I enjoy. I’ll try to save the planet in other ways!
There are two more opportunities to join the “Living the Wright Way” tour—September 14 and 28. Both two hour tours begin at 10:15. A donation of $20 is suggested, and reservations may be made at 217-782-6776. Who knows what interesting discussions will evolve on those tours?