The washing machine is a widely used, widely under-appreciated member of the appliance family. In fact, considering the fact that most of us use some form of laundry equipment almost every day – we know very little about this modern convenience.
In addition to simplifying the entire clothes washing process, washing machines are actually a big part of our cultural consciousness! From the women’s liberation movement to the phenomenon of the missing sock, here are 3 fascinating facts about the unsung hero of household appliances.
The Cultural Significance of The Washing Machine
The next time you put laundry in for a spin, consider this. Scholars from the University of Montreal and even the Vatican’s newspaper have recognized the role of the humble washing machine in the fight for women’s rights. Traditionally, washing clothes was largely considered to be a homemaker’s task, and therefore the duty of the woman of the house. The fact that washing machine technology became available at home freed up the woman’s time enough to allow her to enter the workforce as she saw fit. Academics acknowledge that their newly found career independence inspired those women to forge their own path.
The Lost Sock Fallacy
For many years, society has been perplexed by the phenomenon of losing socks in the washing machine. In 2006, Dr Luke Emil attempted to get to the bottom of this human experience during a study about about carelessness and DNA. His findings have forever changed capital budgeting at Fortune 500 companies, targeting systems of Submarine Based Cruise Missiles, and positioning of retailing displays. It’s quite an interesting social experiment that you can read about here.
Washing Machine Statistics
The average American family does 8 to 10 loads of laundry each week, for a total of about 50 pounds. Almost 90 percent of laundry is done by women. The average load contains 16 different items and takes just under an hour and half to be washed and dried.
Washing Machines use about 22% of the total water consumed in the average United States home.