Happiness Is A Warm Clothesline

duz_adI love finding wacky ads in vintage women’s magazines, especially the laundry soap ads.  Take for example, this fabulous DUZ ad from the November 1949 Woman’s Day magazine.  It has all the attributes that I love in an ad; colorful drawing, bold lettering, exclamation points, and a wildly happy housewife, ecstatic over her DUZ detergent!  And being a clothesline enthusiast, I love the fact that not only does the housewife have her laundry on a clothesline, there is also clothesline pictured on the DUZ box.  Double the fun!  I almost reach this state of elation when I hang out my clothes… almost.  I cede to artistic license on the part of the copywriters, but I do have fun!

I really love clotheslines.  They genuinely make me happy.  There is nothing more gratifying than seeing my laundry out on the line, soaking up the sunshine and swaying in the breeze.  It must be something primal, since all of our ancestors from the dawn of time air-dried their laundry.  I actually look forward to those laundry days when the weather is nice enough to hang outside, and Mother Nature can do her business of  drying the clothes.  During inclement weather I dry inside on drying racks.  It’s sufficient and does the job, but it just doesn’t quite have the joie de vivre of using an outdoor clothesline.

The poignant scent of line-dried laundry.  There is nothing like it.  It changes with the seasons, picking up the nuances in the air.  The cold, ozone-y smell in the winter, the fresh cool scent of spring, the sunshiny scent of summer, and the brisk aroma of fall.  All subtly different, but with that unmistakable underlying familiarity, no matter the season.  That alone is reason enough to keep me air-drying.


This is my clothesline in my backyard, taken in the midst of a heatwave last summer.  Summer is so phenomenal for drying.   I like to time how long it takes to dry in the heat.  I think the record for my laundry drying was just one hour, in over 100 degree heat.  But mostly I just like to look at the clothes hanging.  It is like hanging art; installation art, if you will.  In any event, it makes me happy.  And if I get whipped up into a frenzy like the DUZ housewife, so be it!

Happy drying!


6 Responses to “Happiness Is A Warm Clothesline”

  1. deb

    You go girl.. Can’t wait to read your article in Vintage Life Magazine..

  2. Leigh Ann

    That’s funny. I love my clothesline too. I make my own laundry detergent. That saves me lots. It comes out to be about 2-3 cents per load instead of 23-25 cents with bought detergent. There are several recipes out there.

  3. finnfemme

    Well, Leigh Ann, it seems as though there are a few of us clothesline-lovers out there! I would love to try making my own detergent. I think it will be a summertime project for me; I’m interested in concocting the formula and seeing the results!


  4. Randy Hatch

    I adore my clothes line. I haven’t used a drier in 30 plus years. My line-drying included machine-washed cloth diapers, happily flapping in the breeze, soaking up those wonderful solar rays—many years back.

  5. finnfemme

    30 years? That’s amazing! I love cloth diapers; used them on my son when he was a baby. The only thing is that back then, I used a dryer, and they took FOREVER to dry in it. I only wished that it would have occurred to me to line-dry them. Nothing is better than getting the cloth diapers sanitized by the sun, and of course, seeing them cheerfully on the line!


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