My mum’s only consession to modernity prior to our arrival here in 1956 was a coffee bean grinder and one of the earliest washing machines imaginable. The coffee grinder was bolted onto the wall and was operated by turning a small handle. The ground coffee ended up in square glass container which needed to be pulled away from the grinder when full. Instant coffee was unheard off. Even if it had been available, no normal Dutchman would be seen dead drinking it. Forty three beans per cup! Yuk
The washing machine was far more complicated. It had a large electric motor which would drive the propeller inside the wooden oak barrel which was the heart of the machine. Backwards and forwards it would grunt and rumble, for hours on end in Revesby. My parents had shipped the washing machine over! A good move, most people were still using boilers and mangles. The barrel was made of oak slats and held together with steel bands. Very much like the wine barrels. Above this oak barrel was the wringer. It was also operated electrically and belt driven. You still had to feed in the items but the rollers would do the rolling and wringing. A release mechanism was on top in case your tie would get picked up by the wringer strangling you to death. The water could only be put into this machine by bucket and emptying was in the same manner.
All the above reminiscing after yet another trip to Aldi. They have a never-ending stream of electric gadgets, week in week out. The sort of gadgets that are not hand-held but in need of bench space and electrical power points. Where do people find the space for; mixers, water coolers, food processors, milk shakers, pop-corn poppers, toasters, chainsaw sharpeners,waffle irons,electric knives, pancake makers,salami slicers, yoghurt makers, bread makers?
It is a far cry from just a coffee grinder.