To collect, preserve, document, and interpret the material culture of Lubbock and the South Plains, and its adjacent West Texas regions.
This Maytag washer, ca. 1940, was owned by Fred Jobe, who operated Lubbock's first self-service laundry establishments in the 1940s. After working for the Maytag Company, he opened Jobe's Appliance Store in the 1930s and rented nearly 900 washers for $6.50 per month in the 1950s. His first laundromat was named Rip's Laundry. Jobe's wife Sylvia remembered that women made their way to the "washotorias," as they were called, with their laundry in little red wagons. She wrote that "business was so good that police had to direct and control traffic" as wash customers crossed the street en route to the establishment.
Jobe's laundromats also existed in Slide and Idalou, Texas. The washer features a gasoline-powered motor with an exhaust hose, muffler, and a swinging arm wringer. To use the washer, one poured heated water into the tub, and then started the motor. All parts in the washer are original except for a few bolts and a new Maytag spark plug. Some of these washers were later converted to electrical operation. This one remained gasoline powered and has been fully restored to operating condition by Clifford Hamilton of Shallowater, Texas.