Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Labor saving devices have changed the lives of many

I was thinking recently about all the labor saving devices that have come along in the past 100 years. How did folks do without the many inventions that have been introduced to the public over the years?
The production of the automobile I think was one of the most revolutionary occasions in history. Note that I said “one of the most.” There have been many others of course. Henry Ford’s assembly-line production made the T-Model very affordable and allowed folks to travel great distances and form an appreciation of places beyond the small communities where they lived.
I’m told the Tin Lizzies were easy to repair. Pliers and a little wire were usually sufficient to get them on the road again. I’ve never driven a T-Model but I learned to drive on my family’s 1932 B-Model Ford. I wish I owned it now.
I remember in the early days of my life, lawns weren’t as nice as they are today. Before the rotary lawn mower there was the hand-pushed reel mower that was difficult to push especially in high grass. And even before that there was the reap hook with a short handle and a curved blade. I’ve noticed that in old pictures I have that lawns were shown unkempt. No wonder if you have to get down on your knees to cut the grass.
We have become accustomed to opening our refrigerator door and getting out the cold food we enjoy so much. But there was a time when that was impossible for many people. I remember those days well since I lived without refrigerators and freezers until I was about 10 years old. Most people had springs or wells and both produced cool water but normally not cold water. We had a building built atop a spring. Water running through a trough kept butter, milk and other needs of the household cold.
Now, probably one of the most labor saving devices was the washing machine. My mother’s routine on Mondays was to go down to the creek that ran along the front of our property. She would fill a large iron pot with creek water and build a fire under it. Homemade lye soap was usually used to clean the clothes. She soaked the clothes in the soapy water and used a washboard to clean the clothes. Then she rinsed them in another iron pot full of hot water. The next chore was to hang the clothes on the clothesline to dry. The next day (Tuesday) was usually an all day job of ironing. I don’t believe there were any wrinkle-free clothes in those days.
My mother was glad to get her first washing machine even though it was not as easy to use as the modern machines are.
The electric range is another innovation that saved time and work. Turn a button or flip a switch for heat. Contrast that with gathering wood, using kindling to start a fire and waiting until the stove is hot enough to cook upon. Moreover, ashes must be removed often and that is not a pleasant chore.
All the devices I have mentioned were great improvements over what folks originally had. Today the advancement in technology and engineering is mind-boggling. What will be the result of all this innovation and more that we see almost every day? The change and improvement I’ve seen over the years makes me wonder what the world will be like a hundred years from now.