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National Trust of South Australia


Washing Tub Stand

From Mallala
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Fast Facts
Type of thing Domestic
Date made or found c. 1900
Place used Mallala
Place found Mallala
Current location Mallala Museum
Ceased use c. 1940

In the early days of settlement washing was not the easy process it is today as there were no washing machines. On washing day the wood copper was lit and kept burning as long as required to provide hot water for the washing tubs, one on each side of the stand.

The scrubbing board was in one tub and the clothes would be rubbed with a bar of soap and then the dirt loosened by rubbing on the corrugated glass board. Clothes would be wrung out by hand, placed in the second tub and rinsed in the clean water.

When the hand wringer was invented it was placed on the partition between the tubs and the clothes fed through the wringer to remove most of the water. It was necessary to be careful feeding the clothes through the wringer or the fingers could be caught and squashed.

When the early hand operated washing machines were invented the clothes would go from the washing machine through the wringer and into the tub to be rinsed.


  • Excerpt from a letter written by Miss Myrtle Hayman of Lewiston and quoted in "Two Wells Then and Now" second edition by Betty Williams.
Washing Tub Stand
Washing Tub Stand

Memories of Washing Tub Stand

Mrs Martin of Chivell Street, Mallala supplemented her income by washing clothes for other people in the early 1900s. The Washing Tub Stand on display at the Mallala Museum was owned by Mrs. Martin.

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