Skip to main content

Automatic Laundry, 1877

July 2024
1min read

A young army officer’s wife gave this account of a visit to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park in 1877:

Each and everyone took the occasion to have their laundry cleaned, much needed after a long and soapless trip … A sight it was to behold, to see the felt hats of the men and flannels difficult to tell of what color they were, thrown into the boiling vat, where after a few forthwarning and premonitory signs of another eruption … the hats and almost entire wardrobes shot high aloft, bleached and cleaned to suit the wearer to his entire satisfaction and astonished admiration.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.