Oct. 26, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26: WASHING MACHINES
Saturday, October 26th
. The chore of doing laundry has plagued households since the advent of clothing and the desire for cleanliness. American ingenuity was brought to bear on the problem on this date in 1858, when Hamilton Smith patented a rotary washing machine. But it was hand-driven and proved to be hard on both the operator and clothes. People continued to use the tub and washboard, even after the first electric washer came along in 1908. A few years later, the agitator-type machine appeared and gained immediate popularity. But people still had to feed clothes through a wringer by hand — an often dangerous job. Finally, in the late 1930s, the fully automatic washer with a spin cycle went on sale. Today, over 101 million of the nation's 130 million housing units have a washing machine. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at
is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at
(look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).
SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau