Ode to the Amidon Wash Wringer

On July 31, 1865, Gunn, Amidon & Co. placed these verses in the Greenfield Gazette and Courier. The poem concerns itself with the improved clothes wringer patented by Charles H. Amidon that spring. While not exactly a literary masterpiece, a close examination will show that, except for subtlety, there is little new in the psychology of advertising. Amidon’s improved wringer was chain-driven and avoided the use of cogs for powering the upper roller.

The Best Clothes Wringer

woman at wooden tub and wringer washer

Lady, fair lady, O pray have you seen
Gunn, Amidon Co.'s Wringing Machine?
For beauty, utility, elegance, blend
In this gem of perfection your helper and friend.

Mechanics have striven again and again,
To lessen the care and the labors of men,
But this firm, enterprising, their genius gave,
Your labors to lighten, your beauty to save.

Pray madam, just try it, and then while you wring,
Its excellent character truly I’ll sing,
Or rather young hopeful, (just five did you say),
Let the little chap turn it for pastime and play.

Observe ma'am its action—fine sport for the boy,
Yet your labors accomplished, your clothes are all dry,
Now wringing's a pastime, no longer a bore,
Your delicate fingers to blister and sore.

Just as good for a life-time as you see it to-day,
For rubber wears slowly, and now let me say
That this cunning contrivance, this wonderful chain,
The choicest production of Amidon’s brain,

Keeps the roller together, prevents any stress
When you wring out your laces, your quilts, or your dress;
Madam pray buy it—the blessing you’ll prize,
As the joy of your life, and the light of your eyes.

The rich and the poor, may every one try it,
For the pitiful sum of eight-fifty will buy it,
When you’ve used it yourself for many long years,
You can leave it your daughters, the charming young dears.

On washing-day then they never will scold,
And they’ll cherish this treasure more precious than gold,
It’s better than potions for comfort or health,
A household divinity, saver of wealth.

You know very well your clothes when you twist,
At the peril of every strained cord in your wrist,
That your muslins are ruined, why now ain’t it clear,
That the jewel will pay for itself in a year.

You may travel the land from the East to the West,
And of wringers you’ll find that this gem is the best;
No useless incumbrance [sic], simplicity clogs,
No hard-working, useless, unsightly old cogs.

They are quite superseded, extinguished ’tis plain,
By Amidon’s patent and wonderful chain;
Simple, unique, most efficient it stands,
The pride of America,—noblest of lands.

Husbands who love and who cherish their wives,
A wringer will lengthen, and sweeten their lives;
Father who wish for your daughter’s affection,
Of presents this is just the nicest selection.

To your cousin, connection, relation or friend,
Nothing more potent on earth can you send,
To win you their gratitude, love and esteem,
Than the wringer I’m singing, the poet’s best theme.