Wolter and Echberg washing machine, c.1880

This patented washing machine, made in Melbourne, agitates the clothes by rocking the vessel back and forth, forcing the water, suds and washing into the conical ends. It was a particularly effective design than was not as harsh on the clothes as other types of machines. A small plastic version of this design is still made today for use in caravans. Although it is called a washing machine, it was hand operated and the whole process was still highly labour intensive. The wooden handle is now missing.

Loan courtesy Canowindra and District Historical Society