the unsung hero of the utility

Let’s hear it for the washing machine. It’s an unsung heroine of the utility and here at smol (the home of laundry revolution) we applaud this revolutionary marvel.


Imagine life before washing machines. Early humans washed their laundry in rivers with no soap and a lot of thrashing about on rocks. It was hard work. Egyptians were busy dodging crocodiles whilst ancient Britons prayed for sunshine to get the drying done.


The ever-inventive Romans made machines called Fulling Mills. These tiny watermills worked hammers that bashed the clothes clean. Slightly better than the river dance but without soap they resorted to fermented urine, which isn’t exactly geranium blossom and vanilla…


It wasn’t until 1907 that the first electric machine emerged. Enter Thor.


Not Chris Hemsworth. Just a scary-looking contraption with his on-screen name. Like Thor, it often gave out electric shocks to the unsuspecting, however unlike Chris Hemsworth it regularly leaked. According to the adverts “only a woman knows how much freedom the Thor Electric Washing Machine gives her every week…” and before you could say Asgard, they were flying off the shelves.


Thank Odin the world has moved on from the insane notions held in back then. It makes for uncomfortable reading to see just how women were portrayed. The fact remains however, that this machine did bring freedom; in fact the washing machine is credited with doing more for women’s liberation than the contraceptive pill by helping them enter the paid workforce.


So thank you Thor. You are a marvel. We salute you.