|Laundry hung between some Marshall Alley homes|
"Housing conditions in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, home of the American Bridge Company"
Photographer: Arthur Rothstein
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
The Marshall Alley projects consisted of three rows of homes, only two of which were on Marshall Alley. The third row faced First St. The rows ran between Merchant St. and Maplewood Ave. They were built circa 1904 and housed some of Ambridge's poorest families.
|Location of Marshall Alley homes|
snip from 1923 Sanborn Insurance map
Those are not outhouses attached to the back of the houses. I've been told that the additions were meant to help keep out the cold and dirt. I'm not sure how successful they were. Although the homes did not have a bathroom, each had a toilet in the basement. Someone who lived in a Marshall Alley home as a child remembered the basement as a dark and scary place, with rats scurrying past when someone came down the stairs.
Laundry would probably have been done in big metal tubs like the one in the "girl in a wash tub" photo, with water heated on the stove, and perhaps scrubbed on washboards.
The Marshall Alley homes were razed in the 1950s.