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techstuffhsw:

How Washing Machines Work
In ancient Rome, public laundry service involved large dudes stomping on wet clothes to get the dirt out. By medieval times, launderers used handheld bats or agitators (called, depending on where they were, beetles or battledores and possers, dollies, dashers, ponches, or punches, respectively) to beat the grime out. Purely mechanical machines came along in 1782, and electric machines in 1908. 
A  recent study out of the University of Montreal suggested that advances in household technology during the 20th century — including automated, electric washing machines — were partially responsible for a decrease in time spent on household chores from 58 hours per week circa 1900 to 18 hours per week circa 1975. (And a jump in the number of married women in the workforce from 5% to 51% during the same approximate period of time.) 
Curious about the history and inner workings of these labor-saving machines? Enjoy receiving information aurally? Here, have a podcast episode: How Washing Machines Work [mp3].

techstuffhsw:

How Washing Machines Work

In ancient Rome, public laundry service involved large dudes stomping on wet clothes to get the dirt out. By medieval times, launderers used handheld bats or agitators (called, depending on where they were, beetles or battledores and possers, dollies, dashers, ponches, or punches, respectively) to beat the grime out. Purely mechanical machines came along in 1782, and electric machines in 1908.

A recent study out of the University of Montreal suggested that advances in household technology during the 20th century — including automated, electric washing machines — were partially responsible for a decrease in time spent on household chores from 58 hours per week circa 1900 to 18 hours per week circa 1975. (And a jump in the number of married women in the workforce from 5% to 51% during the same approximate period of time.)

Curious about the history and inner workings of these labor-saving machines? Enjoy receiving information aurally? Here, have a podcast episode: How Washing Machines Work [mp3].

(via howstuffworks)

ancientart:

The Pella curse tablet, from the Cemetery of Agora.

This lead tablet measures 30x6 cm, and dates to the first half of the 4th century BC. It was discovered rolled into the right hand of a dead man.

The numerous curse tablets from the ancient Greek world indicate one thing of importance: women in the classical period did not on the whole make use of curse tablets to bind lovers to them. […]

The only known example of a curse tablet definitely used by a woman in the period under discussion comes from the 4th century BC, from Pella in Macedonia. A woman, Thetima, asks of the daimones: ‘May he indeed not take another wife than myself by let me grow old by the side of Dionusophon.’ 

Women, particularly in cities such as classical Athens, had little say (if any) in whom they married, and little scope for romantic interests prior to marriage […].

-Matthew Dillon, Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion (2003), page 178.

Here’s a translation of the tablet, via Bryn Mawr College Classics:

Of Thetima and Dionysophon the ritual wedding and the marriage I bind by a written spell, as well as (the marriage) of all other women (to him), both widows and maidens, but above all of Thetima; and I entrust (this spell) to Macron and to the daimones. And were I ever to unfold and read these words again after digging (the tablet) up, only then should Dionysophon marry, not before; may he indeed not take another beside myself, but let me alone grow old by the side of Dionysophon and no one else. I implore you: have pity for [Phila (?)], dear daimones, [for I am indeed bereft (?)] of all my dear ones and abandoned. But please keep this (piece of writing) for my sake so that these events do not happen and wretched Thetima perishes miserably [—-] but let me become happy and blessed.

Artifact courtesy of & currently located at the Museum of PellaCentral Macedonia. The first photo is taken by Filos96, the second image is via the Wiki Commons.

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