New York Covered in Laundry 1898-1976

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Here is how New York City looked before the arrival of mechanical dryers. By the way, Wikipedia sheds light on an interesting social controversy related to this issue:

“When these machines were first introduced, only well-to-do families could afford them and they became associated with affluence. Interestingly, however, now that most people can afford a mechanical dryer, clothes lines have become associated with a ‘home-town’ character in neighborhoods because they are indicative of a low-crime area. (Outdoor clothes lines may be used less frequently in high-crime areas because of the risk of clothes being stolen – a worldwide phenomenon.) Also, environmental concerns and higher energy prices have created a new generation of clothes line advocates. Still, the old association with poverty persists in some people’s minds.”

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via RLT



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