Tenement housing backyard, Johnstown, PA, circa 1910.
"There was always a lot of dirty clothes around there, [and I was] rubbing, scrubbing, freezing, and hanging them up. When I sit and think how hard I did work when I was younger, I get so tired and can't hardly move - just thinking about it. I had one of those big boilers [used in washing clothes]. I would save my bacon grease; then I would mix it with lye to make scrub soap. [ You needed to balance the amount of lye used] according to how much grease you have in the water; you know you use about half cup for a quart; that is what I would do. Put it in the water and let it boil, and [it] turned to soap; stuff was strong too." Lena Walton, oral history interview.