Springtime

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday


Did you ever see/use of these? Yesterday, while doing a crossword puzzle, the word came up, and it reminded me of yesteryear.
When I was in second grade, my job was to help the sisters in church to set up for Mass. The altar cloths were huge (or seemed that way to tiny me!) They had to be perfectly ironed before they were placed. One day, Sister wasn’t satisfied, and she took me with her to the laundry area of the convent. I was surrounded by large washers and other equipment, but the item that caught my eye was this one. It’s called a “mangle,” and it irons flat pieces. I watched as Sister fed the cloth in, and it came out perfectly smooth. She warned me to keep my distance because the machine was very hot.

I couldn’t wait to tell my mother. After all, she merely had a small iron and ironing board. When I told her about this amazing invention, my mother laughed. She told me the mangle was really an old invention, and at one time they weren’t electric! Whaaat?? My mother explained that they were once heated near a fireplace and some were steam operated.

Another old throwback was the ‘wringer.’ That dandy was attached to the wash tub and laundry was fed through the rollers to wring out the water. Sometimes, the wringer was also called a mangle. By the time my mother was giving me this laundry lesson, we had an electric washer and drier (though the latter was only used when the weather was too harsh to hang laundry outside.) Later, I remember my dad’s shirts and our uniforms being sent out to be laundered, but in those early years, my mother still did it herself.

The next time it was my turn to help in church, I begged Sister to use the mangle again, and she just smiled. “Not unless it’s absolutely necessary,” she replied. I guess it was such a novelty to her.

I know these machines are still made and used – especially at dry cleaners. Many people even have smaller versions in their homes. But for me, they’re a reminder of long ago.

Peace,

Muff

14 comments:

  1. My Mother had a mangle at the Resort they used to own, It was great for pillowcases, flat sheets were a breeze but fitted were horrid. 100% cotton sheets back then...I always liked summer, the sheets could be hung on the line and just the clothes pin marks ironed out. Thanks for the memories:)

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    1. A lot of people around here still do the outside hanging of laundry in order to get that great scent of sunshine!

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  2. I never heard of a mangle. The wringer, on the othoer hand, I remember. What was I? One month old?

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    1. At the shore, we had a wringer washer when I was little. I wasn't allowed anywhere near it!

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  3. I remember my grandmother washing her clothes with the wringer washer. I'll bet she didn't spend her leisure time reading about mindful living. If you were not paying attention you get very hurt. I remember a scrubbing board and Fels Naptha soap. Laundry day really was a day long event.

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    1. I know my aunt almost lost a finger in a wringer when she was a child. I remember that laundry day was a big deal back then. Now, we just wash and dry any old time.

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  4. i don't iron!!

    one thing muff, i hope you don't mind me saying....i really hope as i am not one to say these things BUT i am having trouble reading your blog because of the color your text is written in. perhaps someone else is struggling as well, or maybe it's just me. my vision is not the greatest because of you no what!!

    i hope you are not offended!!

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    1. No offense taken -- I'll stay away from that color. And pssst... I no longer iron, either!!

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    2. you are so sweet muff....i just realized that you use a different color each day. like i said, it takes me a while sometimes ;))))

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  5. I do remember magles. I can't remember if I first saw one at the convent or at my dad's cousin's dry cleaners. Thanks for jogging my memory.

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    1. When I looked up pictures of mangles, they showed some quite modern ones. So, maybe they're not a throwback after all!

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  6. Never seen a mangle before. Could of used one yesterday while I did the ironing.
    I remember wringer washers much too well. As a kid, I got my arm stuck in an electric wringer. Went all the way up to my elbow. No broken bones, just purple & swollen twice its size!

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    1. OMG! Your whole arm? How did it get in there in the first place? Oh, forget I asked that! I'll bet you were the kid who was always "exploring!"

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  7. I do remember how wringer washer and put rubber diapers through that wringer diapers and explodes and I ruined a couple of shirts
    Did you ever get anything caught in a wringer?or ruined a couple of shirts?

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