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TITLE
Washing with Lux, Roskhill River, Harlosh, Skye
EXTERNAL ID
HCD_CARD_119
PLACENAME
Roskhill
DISTRICT
Skye
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Duirinish
PERIOD
1940s
SOURCE
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
ASSET ID
12927
KEYWORDS
laundry
domestic life
Washing with Lux, Roskhill River, Harlosh, Skye

Wash day certainly was never the easiest! This photo was taken at the Roskhill River, near Harlosh on the west side of the Isle of Skye. The two unidentified women would have been at the site early getting the fire ready to boil water. Just beside the smoking fire, there is a stack of peat which was the main source of fuel. It would have been a long day boiling great pans of water, washing, rinsing and finally wringing as much of the excess water from the items before they were laid out in the sun to dry.

The women are wringing out what looks like a sheet or other large piece of cloth, so very likely this was the day for doing the linen and blanket laundry. Behind them are wooden boxes which were probably used to store the household linens. Or possibly the women were washing lengths of tweed that had been woven over the winter months. Both women are wearing a pinafore or apron over their clothes. These were the uniform for daily wear. Made of usually dark printed cotton, this one-size-fits-all, wraparound coverall was worn over day clothes, and served the very functional purpose of keeping these clothes from becoming stained.

The caption on the postcard says they are washing with Lux, which probably was not the reality. Lux was marketed in the early 20th century as laundry soap, flaked, rather than pressed into the traditional cakes. It was advertised mainly for 'delicates', and home laundering of silks and satins without worry that these fabrics would be yellowed or discoloured by the harsh lye soaps of the day. For this outdoor washing of heavy items, it is very unlikely that these women had the luxury of Lux.


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Washing with Lux, Roskhill River, Harlosh, Skye

INVERNESS: Duirinish

1940s

laundry; domestic life

Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre

Dualchas Postcards

Wash day certainly was never the easiest! This photo was taken at the Roskhill River, near Harlosh on the west side of the Isle of Skye. The two unidentified women would have been at the site early getting the fire ready to boil water. Just beside the smoking fire, there is a stack of peat which was the main source of fuel. It would have been a long day boiling great pans of water, washing, rinsing and finally wringing as much of the excess water from the items before they were laid out in the sun to dry.<br /> <br /> The women are wringing out what looks like a sheet or other large piece of cloth, so very likely this was the day for doing the linen and blanket laundry. Behind them are wooden boxes which were probably used to store the household linens. Or possibly the women were washing lengths of tweed that had been woven over the winter months. Both women are wearing a pinafore or apron over their clothes. These were the uniform for daily wear. Made of usually dark printed cotton, this one-size-fits-all, wraparound coverall was worn over day clothes, and served the very functional purpose of keeping these clothes from becoming stained.<br /> <br /> The caption on the postcard says they are washing with Lux, which probably was not the reality. Lux was marketed in the early 20th century as laundry soap, flaked, rather than pressed into the traditional cakes. It was advertised mainly for 'delicates', and home laundering of silks and satins without worry that these fabrics would be yellowed or discoloured by the harsh lye soaps of the day. For this outdoor washing of heavy items, it is very unlikely that these women had the luxury of Lux. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image may be available to purchase.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href= "mailto: skyeandlochalsh.archives@highlifehighland.com" >Skye and Lochalsh Archives</a>