Miele inspired hand painted kitchen
Traditional Painter, Martin Guest hand painted a wooden kitchen in Bournheath, Worcestershire. As well as many interesting architectural and design details, the kitchen was well equipped with Miele appliances.
Here you can see the hand painted kitchen with your back to the appliances.
Dates, personalities and many facts in the rest of this article may not be historically or chronologically correct!
Miele washing machine is born
In 1875 Mollie Miele had had it with washing clothes. The mangle was wearing, as were the trips to the well. She told her husband, it is either me or the washing, but one of us has to go, take your pick.
Mr Miele was tempted to say what she didn’t want to hear, but relented and assured her he would sort out the washing. She had a celebratory cup of tea in the kitchen, he retired to his workshop. How to invent a washing machine? He pondered and pondered, and then it struck him, the obvious starting point would be a couple of concrete blocks.
He was looking for more inspiration and found it in an old barrel which he fashioned into a tub. How to get a tub to spin? He could never fit a water wheel to it, so again, looking around, he came across a solution.
Dunlop to the rescue
A chap called Dunlop was all the rage and Miele asked if his pneumatic rubber could be fashioned into a belt. As the saying goes, if you want something doing, ask a busy person. “Of course, my good fellow, leave it with me.”
Dunlop turned up later at the Miele household with a pulley, just as asked. When he saw the tub, the pulley and the concrete blocks, he asked the obvious question. What’s with the concrete blocks?
Keeping his plans close to his chest, Mr Miele said it was to create a stone wash effect. Dunlop left, still none the wiser.
Despite progress, Mr Miele was getting pressured by Mollie. Not only was she looking at a growing pile of dirty linen with no solution in sight, she was fed up with him for never wanting to dance with her. What sort of husband doesn’t dance, huh?!
In a fit of pique he withdrew to his workshop and threw everything he had collected into a box and stuck it all together. He paid little attention to the details, but when he stood back he realised he was admiring the makings of a washing machine.
Inventing is a tough job, though, and as one solution comes along, another problem arises. It occurred to him, he couldn’t expect Mollie to sit there with a treadle and spin the tub with her foot. Firstly he pondered, What is the equivalent of manual for feet power? Two seconds later he shrugged and thought Who cares? I have to get this tub to spin.
About that time, Mr Miele heard of a guy called Faraday who had worked out electrickery. He was going to get on the blower, but there was no telephone in his area just then. So he sent a telegram and asked for the drawings to make electricity. Within a short time he had a series of potatoes wired together making lights come on. He was on his way. Mollie Miele was getting antsy though, so he offered to cook her a meal, from potatoes. She said she would rather go hungry, not because he was a bad cook, but because she wanted this damn washing machine to work.
With the breathing space afforded him, he hooked up his spud batteries to the pulley wheel. The pulley was connected to a spindle jammed into the tub with an old sock as a gasket to stop leaks. Oops, that tub needs a door. He made a door. The tub was mounted horizontally. He knew that mounting it horizontally would be by far the most water efficient way to machine wash clothes, and decided to leave the easier but horrendously high consumption top load design to the Americans. He loaded his prototype with water and clothes and hit the potato switch. Kaboom, that thing shook and spun and whined and washed, but it didn’t fall apart.
Making a Miele of it
Mollie made Mr Miele a celebration meal of multiple mashed potatoes, followed by chipped, boiled and triple fried potatoes, just like his mama used to make. Sat at the table in their creased damp clothes they cheered his ingenuity and looked forward to many happy years together. Although, like most inventions, it came with unintended consequences.
Despite looking forward to happy years together, Mollie soon realised she had got on much better with her husband pre-machine days. How she would yearn for the hours and hours she used to spend away from him with her friends, chit chatting, hunched over a mangle.
One topic that never got resolved was that concrete block. How could such a high tech piece of equipment be full of concrete? It was Miele’s secret weapon then, and to this day, just like the inventor, a Miele washing machine still will not dance across the floor.
Just to reiterate, dates, personalities and many facts in this article may not be historically or chronologically correct. But if you want to know exactly the order in which Traditional Painter, Martin Guest, approached this Miele inspired hand painted kitchen in Bournheath, Worcestershire, please click the link.
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