Swan Guildford Historical Society

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Wash House

Take a peek inside this weatherboard wash house, dating from 1913. Wash houses, or outdoor laundries were once common in Western Australian houses built between 1900 and 1950. Our wash house was in the back yard of the local policeman’s house
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1920’s wash house

Wash House

Experience the old ways

To older generations visiting the wash house is a trip down memory lane, to a time when Mum did the washing by hand. For younger people who only know a laundry with washing machine and dryer located inside the house, it’s a practical way to learn how clothes were washed over a hundred years ago.

The wash house shelves contain wash day essentials such as starch to stiffen the clothes, blue tablets used for rinsing clothes, tin water pitchers, and wooden dolly pegs to hang the clothes outside on a wire line. A selection of smoothing irons can also be seen, including flat irons and trivets, early versions of steam, kerosene and petrol irons, more recognisable electric irons from the 1950’s, and a portable stove to heat irons, once used in a commercial laundry.


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