Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Heritage Center

We went on a great field trip yesterday. The Virginia Beach Farmer's Market has a Heritage Center where they teach children about farming and home life before the advent of modern creature comforts.

The kids were fascinated by all the non-electric tools.

The teacher did a great job of making the history accessible to the children.

I was a little disappointed though when she missed a golden opportunity to give a demonstration on gears and gear ratios when she demonstrated the butter churn.

Here you can see Shira making butter.

Ben and Shira learned that grinding corn is a tough business when you don't have a Vitamix.

When I was growing up in South Africa it was a few decades behind the US. The backwardsness of the country was exacerbated by the fact that I grew up in a relatively poor, tiny town. Until close to the 1980's my family used a washing machine similar to this one.

I just loved using the mangle. I'll never forget the great excitement when one of my classmates bought an automatic washer and dryer in 1978. The entire school was agog over the machine that dried clothes. Now I can't imagine life without my automatic washer and dryer. How times change.

Ben had fun washing laundry on an old fashioned washboard.

I don't think it sunk in though just how much work washing laundry was in the days before washing machines.

When I was growing up, our laundry had one of those old fashioned washing machines (ours was large and round) and two, large stone sinks with the corrugation of a washboard built into the angled front side. They were cleaned up versions of these ones.


Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

a great field trip
I always thought i wanted to live in this time period until I realized how much harder housework was
I would have been happy being a rich lady with maids but its more likely I would have been one of the maids themselves
I remember the mangle washing machine my mother had too

great post

Jamie - RoseCottage said...

Looks like a fun day!