Hanging Tatters

Woman hanging clothes to dry at Tulare migrant camp in Visalia, California in March 1940. Source: Shorpy

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14 comments

      • It is still common in Britain to hang laundry out on dry days – and white washes on frosty days. That also means there is the tradition of frantically running outdoors to gather it all in when it inevitably starts raining. It saves the environment and the electricity bill so I continued the tradition when I emigrated here.

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      • Ah! I haven’t hung clothes on the line since I lived at home in the 80s, and even then, my friends thought we were crazy. But I DO remember running out in the rain to grab it–and I remember the rusty clothesline marks it could leave in white sheets. You don’t have to use fabric softener. I’m sure our HOA would fine us if they saw clothes on the line.

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      • Yes, a few friends here have commented that their HOA would never allow clothes to be line dried. I happily live in a neighbourhood with no such rules. My neighbors have commented but in bemusement or admiration and not in any form of complaint. I know of one other house in my neighbourhood where they line dry, though they seem to only do so for bedlinen.

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  1. This is really very poignant, isn’t it? As part of a migration, she would only have packed their very best, most special things. The fact that many of these pieces of fabric look so “well loved” is quite suggestive of the desperation of their lives.

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