Hanging Up The Laundry – San Francisco 1944 & Mississippi 1977

My mother hanging up clothes in San Francisco, 1944.
My mother hanging up clothes in San Francisco, 1944. Photos of my mother by my father, Albert B. Cleage jr
My mother with her clothes box after hanging up the clothes.
clothes in basket st. john's rd
Me posing with a basket of laundry to hang up. About 1977.  Photos of me by husband James E.Williams
hanging clothes st. johns road
Me hanging up or taking down clothes in the rain? About 1977.


Two other posts about my parent’s time in San Francisco

My Parent’s Time In San Francisco

Newspaper Clipping of My Parent’s Arrival in San Francisco

A post about my life on St. John’s Road, Mississippi

R is for Toute 1 Box 173 & 1/2


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27 thoughts on “Hanging Up The Laundry – San Francisco 1944 & Mississippi 1977

  1. Unlike me, you do have photos of people, ie. yourself and your mother, hanging out washing, whereas I’ve never thought to take photos of anyone doing that, maybe because it’s such a basic everyday thing. Good photos, and you and your mother look very similar.

    1. I have a few more, the earliest is me hanging out my towel and bathing suit at camp. Or maybe taking it down. I wanted to use it for the header but it wasn’t the right shape.

  2. Ah, haven’t we all done that when it rains? We have to make a split second decision as to whether to just leave it in the hope that it’s just a passing shower, or rush out and get wet ourselves. At least you still look cheerful.

  3. I have a photo that I love of my grandmother hanging out laundry, probably taken in the mid 50s. And the rain picture reminded me how sweet it could be to hang clothes out in a gentle shower, compared to the awfulness of the day I was trying to get all the washing back down while it whipped around me from a sudden violent storm. And the weary frustration of a day in 1978, in the Arizona desert, when I got all the little baby clothes hung just before the winds hit, swirling red dust madly in the air and turning my laundry a muddy mess.

  4. Laundry on the lines was a common sight in the neighborhood, a sight not seen much these days. Hanging laundry on the lines was a chore I enjoyed. I still like to put my sheets, pillow cases on the line because I love the scent and the feel of sun dried bed linen. Thank you for sharing the lovely pictures, which stirred memories of laundry days when my children were small.

  5. Great photos! Over the years I’ve seldom hung clothes out to dry. I’ve been surprised that ever since my daughter was in her early teens, she has often hung up clothes. She likes that they don’t shrink; that it’s better for the environment, etc. Sometimes I think that I should follow her example.

    1. i like hanging clothes out and bringing them in. Since we moved to this house I haven’t hung any lines out. I think I need one of those lines on a pole that go in a circle.

  6. I hope we never get a prompt of someone dusting, vacuuming, or cleaning the toilet — I won’t have those pictures either. But something tells me that anyone who has photos intentionally dedicated to hanging laundry will be on target with these other chores too. Seeing your laundry basket reminds me that we used such a basket too — before the days of plastic laundry baskets, I guess.

    1. No, none of those. Cooking, washing dishes, have those. That basket came from buying bushels or half bushels of something. There was another kind of basket that was more common before plastic, I think. I probably have a picture of one somewhere 😀

  7. How fun, still enjoying hanging out the wash even across the country! Your first photo is a wonderful capture too!

  8. The first photo of your mother from the second story — such a great match. My favorite is your mother with the clothes box on her head.

  9. I still hang clothes on the line, too — it’s the scent of the (especially sheets) that I cherish. I DO use the dryer in the winter; there’s nothing worse than a frozen board of bedsheet out on the line!

    1. The first one was taken from their 2nd floor apt, really 3rd floor since the first floor was so high. The one of me hanging clothes was taken from the 2nd floor porch.

  10. I love that first shot. It’s really wonderful. The shadows and light are perfect. Worthy of a nice blow up in a frame.

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