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Growing up in Leeds, Past and Present
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Audio and Interview Explaining a 1940s Washing Machine

This washing machine was bought in Hull in 1939, and was used weekly until it's last wash, recorded here, in 1982 - that's over 40 years of washing! This audio recording includes a description of the machine, and historical information. You can also see an image of it here.

Before the invention of the washing machine, all laundry was done by hand, which was a time and labour intensive process. In the 1940s it would have been rare for a family to have a washing machine like this, and only people with a certain level of income would have been able to afford one.

HMV washing machine, made in USA 1939, bought in Hull 1939.

Original audio - Hawskworth Radio Leeds

Audio digitisation © Leeds Museums and Galleries