Engraving of a steam-driven washing machine

Engraving of a steam-driven washing machine

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Washing machine. Engraving of a steam-powered washing machine from the 19th century. The washing machines (at centre left and centre right), consisted of a circular iron tub turning on a central shaft which was fitted with a ratchet for intermittent motion. Each time the tub stopped revolving, wooden poles (dollies) descended onto the clothes and beat the dirt out of them. The water was kept at boiling point by steam driven through the central shaft during the 10 minute washing cycle. The machine was driven by a steam engine connected to the flywheels at upper centre. Image of 1857 Macalpine washing machines at the St. Pancreas workhouse in London, UK.

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Keywords: cleaning, clothes, device, early, erly, historical, history of science, hygiene, instrument, macalpine washing machine, st pancreas workhouse, steam-powered washing machine, technology, washing machine, workhouse washing machine

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