Historical circuit of Town
History of washing
Oskar Schindler

Our washing machines

In 1991 the original collections of the Town Museum and Gallery in Svitavy contained only one washing machine of an unknown brand; the washer is similar to a YORD model.

The turning point came in 1995 when Jevíčko collector Bohumil Doubek offered the museum part of his collection of crafts and household tools, including eight washing machines. These items became the foundation for the museum’s further collecting plans. The decision was reached to focus intensively on collecting washing devices for the simple reason that the Czech Republic had no museum with a similar collection. The collection of the National Technical Museum in Prague has approximately 50 washing related items and the Technical Museum in Brno has around 35 items, though without any additional documentation. Other interesting items are housed in museums in Bohemia and Moravia, but these items mainly accompany other exhibits.
The Svitavy museum currently has 150 washing machines of various types and brands, mainly from Czech manufacturers, and the collection continues to grow. The museum has also acquired a great deal of archival material, advertisements, promotional flyers, and photographs documenting the Czech industrial history of this product branch. It should be noted that obtaining and collecting archival material is extremely difficult and more difficult than collecting actual museum pieces.
The museum collections include not only washing machines, but also tools and devices commonly used for clothes washing purposes. A large part of this collection of smaller items is composed of 40 washboards made of various materials, 10 washing and foaming bells, various types of wood beaters, roller wringers, heating boilers, and other such items. The collection also includes documentary photographs, original advertisements, price lists, instruction manuals, and other documents of a technical nature.

1. Washing machine unknown - manufacturer: unknown - vintage: about a year 1900 - found in: Javorník, Region Svitavy
2. Washing machine unknown - manufacturer: unknown - vintage: about a year 1900 - found in: Hradec nad Svitavou, Region Svitavy
3. Washing machine unknown - manufacturer: unknown - vintage: about a year 1910 - found in: Trebarov, Region Svitavy
4. Washing machine BLESK - manufacturer: Geller a Wonsch, Vienna - vintage: about a year 1900 - found in: Svitavy
5. HAMANNUV WASHIFIX - replication - vintage: about a year 1900
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