Merry Christmas to me! (A minor splurge…)

I think by now most of you know that Kit is my homegirl.  I don’t know why, but I think it’s primarily because the time period she grew up in is the same one my mom did.  And it’s not just the stories I love, but all of the cool things that they’ve made over the years for her as well.  I’ve got more of Kit’s collection than any other doll, and I’m hoping to keep adding to it with some of the things I missed out on as well as (hopefully) new items they come out with.

One of those things I missed out on was her laundry set.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at it on Ebay and almost went ahead and bought it.  But the price was a bit more than I felt like spending, and seriously, how much would I actually use it.  A few weeks before Christmas I decided to do a bit of looking.  That’s always a dangerous thing, but this time it actually worked out.  I found an auction that wasn’t ridiculous, kept an eye on it–and no one bid against me!!!

Just look at it, whooo hoo!  It is missing the smaller pieces–a box of laundry soap, a laundry basket, apron and two little towels, but for the price I got it for, I don’t even care.  $55 and that included the shipping to my house!  I can make two little towels and an apron, I’m sure I can find a cute wicker basket at some point and as far as the laundry soap–I’m going to be honest, that isn’t all that historically accurate.  Yes, laundry soap existed, but it was more of a luxury item during the depression.  I remember my mom talking about taking a bar of Fels Naptha or other similar kind of soap and having to grate it into the water.  And if you were really struggling, chances are you were making your own soap out of grease drippings saved from dinner!  (In case you are curious about making your own soap from scraps, go here:  Something tells me that the Kittredge’s were probably making their own soap.  So I don’t care if I ever have the box.  I’ll make a little bar of soap out of clay.

Let’s see some close ups!!!

First the drying rack:

This little piece is pretty awesome, it folds down for storage just like a real one would.  I was surprised to see that it was made out of plastic though, for some reason I thought these items were made out of wood.  I remember having one of these in our basement for years.  My mother-in-law had one too.  (and now I’m suddenly wondering where that went to when we cleaned out their house…)

Next up–the ironing board and iron.

These are both cute pieces.  Again, plastic instead of wood.  And they didn’t make it so it folds up, that would have really impressed the heck out of me!  But it’s very cute and sturdy, much more so than the one I got with my modern day laundry set from Our Generation.  The iron is nice as well, it is metal and plastic and actually has some weight to it.

And now…the piece you’ve all been waiting for!  The washer!!!

Okay, so maybe YOU weren’t waiting for this, but let me tell you folks, this is what sold this set for me.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m going to confess something here that might shock some of you, but it’s the honest to god’s truth, and if you don’t believe me, I’ll have my nephew Matt come on here and post confirmation (he loved helping me do laundry with it, strange kid).  Evil Twin can even vouch for it too.  Up until about 1996, this was the kind of washing machine I used!!  Yep!  I inherited my mom’s and used it until it couldn’t be used anymore, the wringer would no longer lock into place which made it very unsafe to use.  I finally broke down and bought a conventional top loading washing machine at that point, but we turned the old wringer style washer into the drain tub for it, so it still had a life well beyond 1996.  In fact, it was still in the house until 2010 when we sold it and had someone come remove it from the basement!

This replica is really well done, the wringers even turn if you crank the handle.  Better yet, the wringers are made out of a similar type material as what the real ones would have been.  However, at least with these ones, I don’t have to worry about accidentally running a hand through it!  (Yes, I did that one time, didn’t break anything, but it did hurt!  Thank heavens for the safety on them that popped at a certain point.)

On the bottom back side of the washer is a lever.  I wasn’t real sure what this was about until I moved it.  It makes the agitator spin!  And if you move it back and forth, the agitator goes back and forth, just like a real washer!

Overall, I’m really happy with my Ebay find!  The pieces I did get are in fantastic condition, the listing said it was from an adult owned collection.  I do find it odd that it was missing the smaller pieces if that was the case, but who knows.  It even had the original box but not the Styrofoam insert.  Not a problem, I wouldn’t be taking it apart to store it anyhow.

The bigger question is what am I going to do with it?!?!  I don’t usually buy doll stuff with no real purpose or storyline in mind, but this time I was willing to make an exception.  I suppose I could do a post with modern day Kit and her friends trying to figure out how to use it.  (If you’ve ever seen those videos where they show modern day kids trying to use items from the past, you know what I’m talking about. 😉 )  If it wasn’t so big, I’d be tempted to build a permanent type display for it, a vintage laundry room.  Just not sure where I could put it!  Regardless, I’m still glad I managed to get one at a decent price.

9 thoughts on “Merry Christmas to me! (A minor splurge…)

  1. What a great find! I love when that happens. I spend a great deal of time on ebay also looking for things on my wish list so I can definitely related. You wanted it; you found it; yeaaaa!

    • Ebay can be great if you are persistent. I’ve managed to get some decent prices on several things. I think the best find has been Molly’s bike for cheap!

  2. I got this set around a year ago in a garage sale, but I just now got to actually add it to my dollhouse and I use it so much!
    The basket is actually really small and you can’t fit any laundry inside, and the laundry soap is a cardboard box from when the set was purchased a few years ago, so I would say you got the best parts 🙂

  3. Fantastic find! I never was really interested in it because it being so big and mostly plastic. but it is cute, and I’d love the washer!
    Have fun with the set.


  4. Wow! I’m so jealous!! LOL! Kit is my absolute favourite girl too!! I’m so in love with everything in her collection, from her clothing items to this laundry set to her kitchen items. I, like you, have been very good about not buying anything, because like you say, I didn’t feel that I actually have much of a use for it, besides display. I was going to try to DIY this set as well as her kitchen, but the whole lack of purpose was stalling me from getting around to it. I do eventually have a plan to set up a permanent space for my historical girls, and maybe I will try my hand at DIY’ing more historical pieces then. Until then, I can just come here, and stare at the awesomeness of your find!! 🙂

    It is odd that the dry rack, and the iron board are plastic. I wonder why. Perhaps this is a newer version of the set? I don’t have the set, and I haven’t seen it in real life though, so I’m not sure if they ever made it in wood. We do have Molly’s red bed, and it is made of plastic which surprised us. My conclusion was that it was a newer version, when they started to make more things from plastic.

    I can’t believe that you used to own a wringer washer! That is so cool, except for getting your hand caught in it! OUCH! How far we’ve come is pretty amazing. I adore Kit’s time period, but I sure wouldn’t have wanted to live back then. Of course, that’s only knowing what we know now. 🙂

    • I may have to make a set up of some sort to display it. Still thinking on it.

      And yes, I really did own a wringer washer. There are times when I miss it, but it was very time consuming to do laundry with one. Where we lived we had an issue with how much water we put into the drain system (long story) and it worked quite well for that. I did eventually upgrade to a front loading washer which used way less water than a conventional machine, so that was no longer an issue. Otherwise, I had to be careful when I did laundry and how much I did when we had a regular machine. It is kind of funny though when I think about it, you had to really sort the laundry out carefully because you’d wash things in a certain order since you were using the same water for several loads of laundry!

  5. Fabulous! Congratulations! Great finds! I can’t believe you used one until 1996. I’d have given up, but, hey, if that’s what you liked and it worked…things were built to last then. I suppose you like the sound of the little Maytag engines when we’re at Coolspring…remind you of laundry day. 😀

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