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Friday, May 22, 2009

A Full Day of Ironing

Well, let's see ---- where was I when I left off? Was it milking? or was it rabbit hunting?? or was it making apple butter?? Oh! I remember now -- it was a Monday and we had just finished doing the washing , scrubbed the porch and brought the laundry in for sprinkling.

Almost everything was ironed but before the ironing started the clothes were sprinkled with water, rolled up very tight and stuffed into a pillowcase to keep them damp until it was time to iron. Even the sheets and pillowcases were ironed.

We had an old homemade wooden ironing board that folded up and was kept on the back porch. We used two flat irons to iron with. The irons were cleaned with beeswax to prevent streaking. In the summer we ironed in the kitchen next to the wood cookstove. In the winter we ironed in the front room next to the big old heating stove. There had to be quite a hot fire in the stove to keep the irons hot.

Now you didn't want to get the irons too hot because they would scorch the fabric and you would end up with a big brown spot right in the middle of your garment. If the iron was too cold your garment was wrinkled. The longer the iron was off the heat the cooler it got. Once you started the ironing you didn't quit until it was done. You kept exchanging the irons as they got cooler so you were ironing continuously. To tell if the iron was hot enough to iron my grandma would wet the end of her finger and touch it to the iron.

If you hadn't sprinkled your clothes well enough or if you missed spots where they were too dry you kept a pop bottle full of water with a stopper in it on the end of the ironing board. The stopper had three little holes in it and you shook it over the clothes to add a little extra dampness to what ever you were ironing. If you had your material too wet sometimes you would end up with black streaks from the iron on your clothes.

Ironing was done pretty much in the same manner as washing doilies, sheets and pillowcases first, handkerchiefs and white clothes, colored clothes and jeans.

Ironing was a hard job and took most all day. After we got electricity and an old electric iron it made the job a little easier but it was still tedious. It was a huge chore but one that had to be done each week.

Well, the washin's done and the ironing's done it is time to set back and rest a spell.

That's it for today.


Yarntangler said...

While I was lucky enough to have an electric iron when I first began that chore, I do remember having to sprinkle everything first. I remember the sprinkler bottles! We made them in Girl Scouts for our moms as Mother's Day gifts!Metal bottles with a funnel top and those tops you mentioned. We covered them with Dennison stickers and ribbons.

Funny, I saw one of those sprinklers, decorated pretty much the same way in an antique store last summer. $32.50!!!

Leno said...

Oh man Jenny, I remember the bottle with the stopper, it was silver and had holes in it, seems like my mom was always ironing....brings back so many memories... Thanks.

Chuck-Kathy said...

Oh yes, I can remember those days. Not that I was the one doing the ironing, but God Bless MY Mother, how she ever did it is beyond me. And they say those were the "good old days". LOL

Mark and Dortha said...

Oh, Jenny, do I remember those days. Now, we did have electric irons, but I remember sprinkling clothes and the water bottle and most of all....I remember that if I didn't do it right my mom resprinkled the piece and put it back in the bag for a second try!

See you get that ironing done