The firWhen we were youung my most automatic dishwasher was shown at the Chicago World Fair in1893. I wonder what interesst if generated. But of course dishwashers had been around for centuries before that. All that was needed was a container, soap and hands. and the odd brush and cloth. My mother never ownedd an automatic dishwasher but she did have two daaghters and ahusbandwho helped at times especially after large dinners like Christmas when every dish in the kitcchen had becomr dirty. Of course the more kids you had the more arguments you were likely to have about who did what and when. .And unless your household ran on a strict schedle for jobs, the more arguments you were likely to have these discussions.

When we were young my mother always washed and my sister and I took took turns drying and putting away. Our neighbour from across the road usually turned up at dishwashiing time to avoid argumrnts at his house. He sat on the stool and gave us the latest news. Since he was also the local undertaker we always knew who was dead or close to dying. Jack had a suitable slow deep voice for deliverinhg such news. Sometimes one of hhis daughters escaped with I remember Raewyn helping to dry our dishes one night and starting to remove the cup on the bench. My mother told her that was leaner and should be left for the other plates to stand against. She misunderstood so my sister and I pretended that the cup was called Lena and all our cups had namems. My mother stopped out little game just when we were having fun with it.

Dishwashing coulld be a time for confidences to be exchanged especially if only one kid was involvved. Things could be said at the sink that could not be mentioned at the dinner table. There must be something helpful about hot soapy water and mechanical movements. Of ourse my mother had help only at night and in the school holidays as we were off to school dring the term after our breakfast ands midday dinner. I do not recall her wearing gloves as people do now.

When a newly married couple moved in next door. my sister and I loved doing their dishedds. They were a novelty in the street. And then they had a baby which made them even married more interesting. I wonder how they pt up with us but she was a laid bac person and I guess we entertained the baby. We used to wheel the kids in their pram over to our house. My mother was very partial to babies.

But I digress. As usual. Automatic dishwashers are very useful but they do lack character and that personal touch. But these days with covid they are also essential to remove bugs that can kill us.