Hundreds of mechanical washing machines were designed in the first half of the 19th century, but they were hand powered. The earliest models rubbed clothes to clean them; later designs featured mechanisms that moved the clothes through the water. The user either turned a handle to rotate or rock the washing box to agitate the clothes. The “1900 Cataract” electric wringer washing machine with rocking copper tub was produced around 1910. The wringer was used to squeeze water out. Wringer washers were popular until about 1960 when they were replaced by spin-dry machines.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
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