Washing machines are a great innovation

Thanks to Aaron McKenzie of The Idiots’ Collective for directing me to this 10 minute TED talk from Hans Rosling.

In it, Rosling uses his mix of entertaining presentation skills, easy-to-understand graphics and simplifying data analytics to tell us how washing machines opened markets for books  and why environmental activists should refrain from giving energy use advice to others.

In the comments of his post, McKenzie requests a laundry folder.  That would be nice.

I have wondered why we store our clothes across the home to be close to our beds and baths rather than close to our washers and dryers.  Or, why we don’t put our washer/dryer closer to where we store our clothes.


8 thoughts on “Washing machines are a great innovation

  1. Thanks for the link.

    You know, every time I start to complain about doing the ironing (to say nothing of the actual laundry!), I think of the “1900 House” series (to which I recently posted a link on my site). Granted, there’s no machine to do it for us (yet), but at least I’m not heating the cursed iron on the stove, eh? In fact, I just finished a batch of ironing and now I’m sitting here typing this, so clearly there’s been some improvement.

  2. i grew up in a house with a laundry chute. one factor in washing machine placement is that they are quite burly and create a considerable amount of vibration and noise. this vibration and noise is considerably more evident when said machine is on a wood surface such as most residential upper level housing developments are..washing machines are best placed on concrete. which is why they tend to be in the basements or garages.

  3. on a side note, i grew up in the midwest. we had a basement because everybody had a basement because occasionally tornadoes come through town and you dont want to end up like dorothy. ive often wondered why _everybody_ doesnt have a basement. basements are nice and cool in the summertime and make great dry storage for food. it seems that homes with basements would also be more energy efficient, although i dont know the math on that. digging and building a basement isnt a tremendous project, yet i couldve counted the basements i found in california on one hand.

  4. On a similar note, you might have two dishwashers installed in your kitchen and move the dishes from one to the other as they are used. Clean the dishes and then move them in the other direction.

    A friend told me that this was “the laziest thing that I’ve ever heard.”



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