Monday, September 24, 2007

A Hills Hoist for Every Home

Reading Sean Jeating's article about the onset of the northern winter reminded me of the miserable conditions that my mother endured for most of the year in drying clothes on a clothes line. The only thing going for the sodden nappies and the like was the wind and occasional sun. Even a good wringer did not extract enough water to favour quick drying between showers.

According to the Boston Globe,

91 percent of detached single-family homes in the US have a clothes dryer, and a single electric dryer can blow 1,500 pounds of carbon monoxide into the air each year. Now, there is a growing "right-to-dry" movement; some states are working on legislation to overturn bans on clotheslines.

When I lived in the US, most of the places disallowed the drying of clothes outside, through local regulations. Obviously appearance over common sense, driving a huge white goods market in the United States. Clothes lines were rare, despite fantastic drying weather in many parts of the country much of the year.

Seems like a very sensible move. Perhaps there is an export market for the Hills Hoist, made here in Adelaide. We have one in the back yard.


jmb said...

I'm ashamed to say I never knew the rotary clothes line was an Australian invention. We never had one in my day in Australia so perhaps I can be excused.
Of course hardly anyone has a clothesline here. When they do they are a double line on a pulley wheel attached to a pole at the end of the garden while you stand in the one spot and reel it in and out as you add clothes. I'm sure you saw them in your days in NA.
I can't imagine not having a dryer in this climate although somehow they manage in Europe without them.

Colin Campbell said...

Definitely horses for courses and based on my experience of Vancouver, you would need a dryer for a lot of the year.

We have gone to the local laundramat precisely once this year in a week when we had three consecutive days of rain.

River said...

I couldn't believe what I was reading here!! Clothes lines are RARE in America?? No wonder the environment is in such a mess with all those millions of people using so much electricity just to dry clothes, (not discounting the fact that many here in Australia also do the same). I have a dryer and use it rarely. Even in winter I hang clothes on the line for a few hours to dry and only use the dryer to finish off things that are still damp if we need those items the next morning. Work uniforms or socks for instance. Even then if there's only one or two things I'll hang them on a rack a couple of metres away from a heater instead.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Wringers! I remember them. I liked my rotary line in Britain - I didn't know it was invented in Oz either. But I do like hanging clothes on the balcony line here and having them dry in an hour! There's no snobbery about hanging your clothes out for all to see here - that's what the sun's for!