Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring cleaning!

I love cleaning more than the average bear. Truth be told, when I have any sort of down-time, I'm chomping at the bit to spruce up the house and make it sparkling clean. Being able to actually eat off of the floor is an important quality for me, because due to my clumsiness, thats where most of my meals end up. When I say 'meals', I actually mean 'Lean Cusines' because I don't have any inclination for cooking.

Theres something about the warm weather that makes us all want to clean and get organized. Today, I kept fantasizing about coming home and using my spectacular 1950's vacuum (that I don't own yet) and loading my beautiful washing machine, and waltzing about dusting as I shine up the old house. In reality, I swiffered, pledge multi-tasked and did a whole bunch of less romantic cleaning methods. I was also wearing running tights and an athletic t-shirt, so my fantasy was ruined from the start. But really, all this warm weather and my propensity for cleaning got me thinking, where did the term 'Spring Cleaning' come from?

Lets start with a quick little history lesson before I show you all of the glorious vintage technological treats that will aide you in your cleaning endeavors. So, how did this term come about? There are a few opinions as to where the phrase originated, but most agree that it dates back to the Persian new year. The Persian new year falls on the first day of spring, and it is a ritual that they practice 'shaking the house' before the new year occurs. This means cleaning up and down, extremely thoroughly, even all of the furniture. In 19th century North America, March was seen as the perfect month to spend time cleaning. The third month was seen as the best time to dust since the weather was not only warmer, but there was not the influx of insects that the hot summer heat would bring. In addition, the breezes of March and April were very beneficial in carrying the dust and mites far from the house. What I'm trying to tell you is that March is the perfect month. Feel the urge to clean? Do it! You can't find a better time!

Okay. Now lets talk about vacuum cleaners. The vacuum cleaner as we know it today was developed in the early 20th century, though there were 'carpet sweepers' which came about in the 1860's. My favorite vacuum, other than the Dyson (can't hate on the design and suction power), is the Hoover Constellation. Introduced in 1952, these cylindrical vacuum cleaners lacked wheels, and get this, floats on its exhaust, essentially making it a hovercraft. Yes. A hovercraft. Hoover stopped making the Constellation in 1975. All in all, these weren't the best designed machines, but for me, thats okay. They are so beautiful. Can you imagine walking about the house, this machine hovering behind you. Goodness. Take a look!

What about lovely washing machines? I fantasize all of the time about having a vintage washer. Look at how spectacular this Parnall electric washing machine is! This particular model is from 1955. Previous to 1950, washing machines had to have pre-heated water. But not anymore!  These bad boys were fitted with internal heaters which brought the water to a required temperature inside the machine. Look at the design on this! Tell me you wouldn't enjoy doing laundry more if this was your machine!

I hope that this put you in the cleaning mood! Do any of you have vintage appliances? Do you love them?! I want to know. Talk to me on here or let me know on facebook. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of this month, and remember to get your clean on!

Until next time...


  1. I saw several vintage vacuums at the Restore last week~ none like the Hoover Hover but more like the piggy shaped ones I remember from my youth! Also a fantastic PINK wall oven!!! Hope someone adopts these lovelies!

  2. Yes! All so great! Especially that oven! To die for!

  3. I own a Parnall washer exactly like the one in the photo.
    Very hard work but such a joy, it is used regularly.
    It was in very bad condition but now in full working order.