Monday, August 8, 2011

Making Life Easier

You know what fascinates me?  The myriad products developed solely to make cleaning easier.  Sometimes I forget how new this idea is!

My dad was born in 1920.  It's wild to think that his mom was still washing dishes in a basin, probably with Bon Ami and a brush, with VERY hot water.  This was the decade that saw the onset of rubber gloves, but I don't know how ubiquitous they were.

My mom was born in 1946.  By the time she came around, there were TONS more household cleaning products.  No doubt many of these innovations sprang directly from materials developed for the war - like Kleenex.  After that, it wasn't a long road to paper towels (or as my dad liked to call it, "paper toweling"), which must've seemed miraculous back then.  A rag you can throw away?  Sign me up!

I was born in 1968.  My childhood smells of several scents - crayons, cigarettes and Pledge.  I loved it when Mom dusted - I can still conjure that smell on demand.  It was "Lemon" Pledge, but I really don't recall a lemony scent beneath all those chemicals.
Here's another product that was a staple in our house - these Easy Wipes!  I found this package at an estate sale a few months back and I HAD to have them (didn't hurt that it only cost me a quarter!).  We never had a dishrag in the house; it was always these Easy Wipes (or more accurately, it was probably Handi-Wipes, but they're really the same product).  The design on these wipes instantly transported me to 1978.

And how about THIS?  This beaut of a box is a new acquisition - I found it at the Antique Center in La Crosse, where we vacationed with Brian's family over the weekend.  I've never seen anything like it before; supposedly, you tear off about a foot of this "Fling" stuff and place it in  your sink.  There is detergent in this product already, so after the suds are off the product and on your dishes the idea is to magically "fling" the food away.  It was manufactured by Proctor & Gamble and has since been discontinued - judging by the font and packaging I'm going to say late-60s.  Check out the awesome pattern, too!  Here's another classic example of design for design's sake - why put a cool pattern on something that's just going to be thrown away?  DESIGN!  Same goes for paper towels.  I love that!

I am totally going to use these babies in a collage, probably with stitching because both have that awesome fabric-like quality to them.  I've also professed my love of these products in a paper collage - this product was from a French magazine in the 60s:

1 comment:

  1. omg....Easy Wipes.....I had totally forgotten those! I think my mother kept them in business for a long while~~or maybe it was Dad stealing them for garage use.
    Or maybe ME because I could cut them up for Barbie clothes! ;-D
    Miracle product!
    Still, I use Bon Ami and a scrub brush, and believe me, rubber gloves!