About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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PW Tuesday 1940 The Unspoken Way

July 2, 2024

Yesterday's post about clothing and how many articles of clothing one needs in 1940, a new discussion has come up in the forum about the number of undies that someone should have during this time in history.

Panties, is mostly what we are referring to, because on the website Vintage Dancer it was mentioned one would have only 4 pair of panties in 1940.  The title of this post here today, is "the  unspoken way".  Some of you in the forum have what you remember of why only four pair of panties were needed, thank you for posting, and yes the reason is because people hand washed their panties throughout the week.  We all have our unspoken way of doing things so there are some topics that we do not find a lot of information on how they did things.

Some of you that are old enough to remember undergarments hanging in the bathroom to dry in the 1940s and even into the 1950's and 1960's.  Some people may still do this today and probably do because some countries, people do many things as we would consider an old way here in the United States.  I have come to know that here in the United States we have been pushed along to be more modern and even more modern to the point that it doesn't make sense anymore.

I received an email last evening from a friend (June) that said her mom and grandma's would never wash their underthings with the rest of the laundry and hand wash them before bed and hang them in the bathroom to dry.

These are the same memories I have growing up, my mother would hand wash the underwear and hang it to dry overnight.  Normally overnight, and her stockings, slip, bra would be hanging in the bathroom.  We had a wood rack that our underwear would hang on and in the winter it was kept near the floor furnace or close to the fireplace.  

So many things the old way just makes sense and I want to say so badly, and I will say, we have been pushed to change by marketing so others can become wealthy while regular folks get to a point that they can barely survive the costs of the modern things of today.

To this day, Charles and I have cotton clotheslines that are cut and have loops on each end, and I have clips on each side of door frames in the room that I use at night to pull the clothesline across the room and hang items to dry.  We also have the folding rack and as you know everything with laundry depends on the weather.

Charles dark dress pants and shirts are always hung inside to dry unless I turn them inside out to dry outside so the sun does not fade them.  Also in the photo above you notice a white round bar, we put these at the top of our doorways  where we can hang blouses or dress shirts to dry on the hangers.  We also use them to hang portiere's to control the cooling and heating in our house from room to room. All of these things save money by reducing cost in different ways. 

Charles is getting into the 1940s groove.  

Here on my blog, I have pretty much exposed myself in many ways to show the old ways such as in the post I did about shifts and corsets, the washbowl bath I did to show how they washed in the past.  Today I am discussing panties and undies. 

Here at our house when the clothesline is full of clothes I will hang some underwear in between the lines to keep them hidden.

I will talk more about laundry during 1940s in another post, this week's peek week is to help to get you all started off with the study in daily short posts.

So as we are going through our clothing, our closets, drawers and chifforobes, think about a wash pan, tub or basin that you would like to use to hand wash undies and a place to hang them to dry. This is a very good way to help them to last longer.

This morning I did a research to find out when Fels-Naptha laundry & stain remover was first sold and it looks to be 1893, I recently found some that is unscented as I have not used the Fels-Naptha because  the regular bar is too strong of a scent for me so I will add this unscented Fels-Naptha to my soap for stain removal.  

The laundry bar recipe that I use I make myself from coconut oil but I have not made any in awhile so I have been purchasing a goat milk laundry bar. You can use regular bar soap such as kirks castile as hand washing laundry soap or just use your regular laundry soap.  

 The recipe I use to make laundry bar soap is from years back on the Mommypotamus website. You will need to scroll down until you find the laundry bar 1%   https://mommypotamus.com/how-to-make-pure-coconut-oil-soap-for-cleansing-and-laundry/

I love the scene in Larkrise to Candleford where Queenie is taking a washbowl bath, the simplicity of the time long ago before 1940.  This link below only gives a glimpse of the washbowl bath but gives an idea. In 1940 people still used the wash bowl and pitcher to bath, especially those that lived rural.  

Queenie & Twister


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