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Mary Lou Washday Set

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham (made)

  • Date:

    1950-1954 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chad Valley Company Limited (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed card; wood, plywood, paper; enamelled metal; cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sylvia Smart

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Museum of Childhood, Creativity Gallery, case 2 []

Physical description

Washday playset. The rectangular box and lid are printed in red and other colours, they show the title and a cartoon illustration of a girl doing her washing and a cat doing the ironing. Inside is a pre-form and cut platform of yellow card printed with red lettering, to hold the following parts:

1. wooden clothes horse with blue cotton hinges; two parts with crossbars hinged together.
2. plywood and solid wood ironing board, with paper on the top. It is able to fold flat.
3. Pail of enamelled metal, white with a red handle.
4. Bowl, enamelled metal, white.
5. Iron, enamelled metal, blue with a wooden handle.
6. Clothes line, white knotted cotton.
7. "Lux" soap flakes box of dark blue card printed in white.
8 to 15. eight straight wooden clothes pegs.

Place of Origin

Birmingham (made)


1950-1954 (made)


Chad Valley Company Limited (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Printed card; wood, plywood, paper; enamelled metal; cotton

Object history note

Given to the donor, born Sylvia Johnson in November 1950, as a Christmas present in 1954. Given to the V&A in 1991 [90/1376].

Descriptive line

'Mary Lou Washday Set', Chad Valley, England, 1950s


Paper; Wood; Plywood; Metal; Cotton


Printing; Enamelling

Subjects depicted

Girls; Irons; Cats


Christmas presents; Toys & Games; Children & Childhood

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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