Sociology of the Clothesline - Router Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Default Sociology of the Clothesline

WE ARE PROBABLY THE LAST GENERATION THAT WILL REMEMBER WHAT A CLOTHESLINE WAS. .

And in lots of places they are illegal. It's the poem at the end that's the best!!!

Remembering Mom's Clothesline.


THE BASIC RULES FOR CLOTHESLINES: (If you don't even know what clotheslines are, better skip this.)

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes... NOT the top.

2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs... NOT the waistbands.

3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes -
Walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around
The lines.

4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always
Hang "whites" with "whites," and hang them first.

5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders - always by the tail!
What would the neighbours think?

6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend,
Or on Sunday, for Heaven's sake!

7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could
Hide your "unmentionables" in the middle (perverts & busybodies,
Y'know!)

8. It didn't matter if it was sub-zero weather... Clothes
Would "freeze-dry."

9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes!
Pins left on the lines were "tacky"!

10. 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.

11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in
The clothes basket, and ready to be ironed. IRONED??!! Well,
that's a whole OTHER subject!

12. Long wooden pole (clothes pole) that was used to push the
Clotheslines up so that longer items (sheets/pants/etc.)
Didn't brush the ground and get dirty.

And now a POEM...

A clothesline was a news forecast, To neighbours passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep, When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, For neighbours always knew
If company had stopped on by, to spend a night or two.

For then you'd see the "fancy sheets", And towels upon the line;
You'd see the "company table cloths", With intricate designs.
The line announced a baby's birth, From folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung, So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could, So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed, You'd know how much they'd grown!
It also told when illness struck, As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too, Haphazardly were strung.
It also said, "On vacation now", When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, "We're back!" when full lines sagged, With not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon, If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbours carefully raised their brows, And looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past, For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home, Is anybody's guess!
I really miss that way of life, It was a friendly sign
When neighbours knew each other best... By what hung on the line.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 01:03 PM
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We had a permanent setup, used metal T shaped poles with five lines, maybe 30 feet long. Out in the way back of the yard. Trees and a shed and a fence overgrown with vines kept the wind down. An open bag to hold the pins--we liked the squeeze kind with the spring, The other type would break too easily. During summer, you'd hang a couple of blankets there and camp out.

Around the corner was my dad's big incinerator, made of concrete blocks, metal screening and corrigated sheets over it. Bringing back a lot of memories.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 01:13 PM
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We still use them. Nothing like crisp sheets and nice rough terry towels. The clothes seem to smell better, too. Though, that may be just my prejudices. Some may actually like the dryer sheet smell.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 01:26 PM
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Ah, those were the days, my friends.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 01:41 PM
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My sister-in-law used to dry clothes outside. Don't like sleeping on sandpaper. SWMBO and I have been married 46 years and never dried clothes outside. FWIW, there was a family in LA that did their laundry and dried it on a barbed wire fence. Wonder how they got the rust spots off? Always wondered if the clothes picked up the manure smell from the cattle next to the house. Judging from the looks of the yard, it didn't matter.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 03:01 PM
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 04:11 PM
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This is like the one we use. Name:  318RUJDRzgL._AC_SR160,160_.jpg
Views: 152
Size:  1.9 KB
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Gene Howe
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 08:31 PM
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We have a single line that runs the length of the back deck for towels and heavy items like bib overalls etc. Still works great in the summer. If one used it in the winter here in the PNW it could double as a close washer. ��⛈
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Howe View Post
We still use them. Nothing like crisp sheets and nice rough terry towels. The clothes seem to smell better, too. Though, that may be just my prejudices. Some may actually like the dryer sheet smell.
We do, too .....
Nothing like getting into bed with the smell of sheets off the line...
Especially if there was a breeze that day .....
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 06:50 AM
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Yes I remember mom telling me how to hang the clothes and I still do to this day. We have an umbrella style outside and a line on the porch for when it is bad weather. We don't use the dryer hardly at all.
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