Here we are at Thursday again and I am sitting here drenched in sweat yet again like the fourth time this morning but that has nothing to do with this post.
Couldn't find anything about Christmas in Australia in the late 1800's so we have just another post from my information book.
One of the biggest and most time consuming tasks in that era was the washing of clothes, it was also the hardest of physical tasks a servant would have to do.
If they were lucky the home may have had one of the new-fangled washing machines, which ran on water power. Some even had gas fired hot water on tap.
Generally speaking though things went like this bed linen, tablecloths, and other such white things, had to be boiled in a wood fired copper. This meant that the poor servant girl had to stirred the clothes with a cooper-stick, can you imagine how hot it would have been hanging over a hot steamy copper in summer as well as winter but may not have felt as bad in the colder months.
She had to then remove these extremely heavy items into a trough or bowl for rinsing and starching as well as lifting them and putting through some kind of mangle or wringer. After that was done she then had to hang the washing out on a line to dry.
Once dried the washing would have to be ironed not with the type we use now days but an old flat iron that was heated on the coals of the stove or they may have had a box-iron which had red-hot coals contained in the iron, these were the most common types used.
It would have not been an easy task to judge how hot an iron was and it wasn't uncommon for either the servant or the daughter of the servant to burn themselves. If something was scorched the servants wages may have been docked.