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1906 Swiss settlement washing day

With Amanda Liechty and Rose Niswander

It’s wash day.

One summer afternoon in 1906 Samuel U. Amstutz set up this scene and photographed it. The location was somewhere in the Swiss rural settlement between Bluffton and Pandora.

His models were Amanda Liechty (left) and Rose Niswander (right). The scene shows how clothing was washed at the turn of an earlier century.

It appears that Rose is scrubbing clothes on a wash board. Check out the clothes ringer. Perhaps Amanda’s tub is the rinse.

It’s very possible that the tubs were Bluffton-manufactured “Woman’s Best Friend” washing machines. If so, this was an advancement in washing clothes, because Rose’s tub was heated with wood burning below it.

BOTTOM PHOTO - The photographer, Samuel Amstutz (1864-1927), lived on a 40-acre farm on the Allen-Putnam County Line. Imagine setting up this camera to take the washing photograph.

Samuel Amstutz - photographer



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