Rutland County Museum is closed until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic

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‘All Washed Up!’ Exhibition

This exhibition explored how people kept their homes and clothing clean in the past. It covered the labour-intensive Victorian era, the 1920s and 1930s when gas and electricity really began to be harnessed for the home through to the 1950s when household labour-saving devices soared.

Victorian Wash Day

Washing day was a major event in the Victorian household. Due to the labour involved, it was also infrequent, occurring perhaps once a month to be more economically viable.

The less frequent the washing, the more affluent a family could claim to be, as they would have sufficient clothing to wear until next wash day.

Large country houses would have a purpose-built laundry, an idea which was copied by larger homes and farmhouses. Small homes had to make do with using the kitchen or the yard for the purpose.

Before indoor plumbing, water often had to be carried some distance. Efforts were made to store rainwater and rural communities could still use streams for washing.