4 Responses

  1. Lizzie
    | Reply

    two things:
    1. My aunt had a very raspy voice. The story goes: Depression era, Monday washing day. She was all of 12 years old, using the mangle in the backyard, and had to yell for help when her hand got stuck. No one heard her for hours. Her voice was forever changed.
    2. Not only watch your fingers, watch your forearm. I am currently nursing a potential 3″ long scar, caused from reaching over my iron as I patchwork a quilt top. Arghhh.

  2. Nancy M
    | Reply

    I love how you write!!

  3. Jennifer
    | Reply

    Really neat piece — who knew irons had such a fascinating history, Mary. Surprised an electric one came along so early. Bet it was really pricey back in the day. Growing up, my mom had one with a really thick, fabric-covered round cord. And that wasn’t all that many years ago!

  4. Kerry
    | Reply

    Love that little bit of history. I have 3 “sad” irons – but they are much happier now they are just sitting on my brick hearth! I can see why leg of mutton sleeves were fashionable – it disguised the masculine muscular arms that were used for pressing with heavy irons! That said no wonder they only had few clothes in those days.

    A little mangle story for you:
    My grandmother had a mangle in her garage – I was warned not to touch it and not to turn the handle – ever. The mangle was given to her grandmother as a way of compensation for her grandfather meeting a premature death in a furnace (he was a gas boiler maker – you can picture the grisly demise – or not!). When it passed down to her mother she helped wring the clothes out – but her hand was pressed by accident. It split her fingers and even in her late 70s the scars of the splits were still very evident! She was lucky that she didn’t lose her fingers – or even break them! So having seen the damage done the contraption became rather a magnet for me. I did touch and I did turn the handle but I didn’t put my fingers anywhere near those rollers – and I got a right telling off by my grandfather! LOL!

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