3 March 2023

Published March 1, 2023 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.



March is upon us, but I couldn’t resist adding one more neglected African American. She made laundry a little easier for the average housewife back in the 1800’s.

Genre: Washable Ficton
Word Count: 100


Dale reached into the washing machine. “Laundry is such a pain in the tush.” She tossed wads of damp clothes into the dryer. “I suppose it’s better than scrubbing them on a washboard.”

Rochelle folded a T-shirt. “Well, ya know—now that you mention it.”

“Uh-oh. She’s bringing on the history lesson.”

“We can thank Ellin Eglin who invented the wringer in 1888. She sold the plans for it for $18.00. When asked why, she said, ‘You know I am black and if it was known that a negro woman patented the invention, white ladies would not buy the wringer.’”


65 comments on “3 March 2023

  • I’m sure she was right. Even in 1958 she might have been right, and perhaps even 1988, let alone 1888. Prejudice is such an odd thing where people refuse to help themselves, even greatly, because of that hate. Good story, but it isn’t just housewives that do laundry 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jen,

      Although the wringer made things easier I still prefer spin cycle on my Maytag. 😉 We do take a lot for granted. And it shouldn’t matter who invented what. Thank you.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    I would never diss a history lesson from you 😉 And this is a sad state of affairs. Wouldn’t it have been nice if the American Wringer Company had had the decency to give her a little piece of the pie…

    Shalom and Lotsa dreaming in Technicolor love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • I got my arm caught in one of those wringers when I was about 6 years old. It was bizarre because it did not break any bones. But it wasn’t clamped down all the way. It was just spinning and I thought I wanted to just touch it. Scared my poor grandmother to death! Thanks for this history lesson! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  • Oh well. If someone is that prejudiced, they don’t deserve to benefit from the wringer. She should have gotten full credit, which may have helped alleviate some prejudices. I’m a firm believer that prejudice is the product of ignorance. Exposure initiates wearing down those prejudices. Knowing a black woman invented a device that helped them, may have helped alter some preconceived notions.

    The real crime is that she lost out on whatever proceeds she would have earned from the patent. The article says the American Wringer Company got rich.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Such a fun beginning and sad but true ending. Racism is rampant everywhere. If I have something you don’t have, I’m suprerior. How can I be superior and rule over you when we’re equals? Envy, greed, malevolence and ignorance cost us so much. Imagine how far we could be as humankind without these limitations.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great story, Rochelle, and just one example of so many times people of color had to forego prosperity because of prejudice, I’m sure. I liked your other one too. It’s definitely and up and down life as an author. Congratulations on finding Annie a home. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hey Rochelle.

    This is so interesting to me.

    The history of “invention,” patents, and who got credit for what is not all lovely regardless of race, creed, nationality, or sex. In this case, she was awarded the patent and then sold it (for reasons she stated years later). At least you and history gave Ellin Eglin credit (if little financial reward) for her invention.

    I grew up watching both parents use a wringer-washer, drying racks, and outdoor cloths lines. I recall I was not allowed to use the wringer because it did not care if it wrung out my jeans or my arm (as Kimber mentions she did). I think we had a wash/scrub board, too.

    Again, an interesting exchange between Rochelle and Dale.



    PS: From Amazon: A mechanical hand-crank wringer (new) for sale. “The Great American Wringer Co – Model Black Coated Steel – Hand Wringer – Made in USA Brand: Wringer (4.5 out of 5 stars 178 ratings | 20 answered questions) —- $159.99” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bill,

      I can’t say I rmember wringer washers. I do remember my mother hanging laundry on clotheslines strung in the basement. thanks for sharing the Amazon listing. I’ll pass on it. 😉
      I always enjoy talking to Dale. Hoping to one day make that an in person happening. Thank you.

      Shalom later than usual,


      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle,

        As I take a minute before posting my story for this week’s pic, let me say I’m trying to catch up, too.

        I can’t believe they still sell those things.




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