Walking Riley gives M. and me time to talk about so many things, and one topic that came up recently was this: do you remember it?
If you’re a Boomer, you do. Our mothers had these little sprinkler heads that they inserted into a soda bottle to make a sprinkle bottle to use when ironing clothes. And truth be told, they sometimes worked a whole lot better than today’s steam irons.
Vintage ironing could be quite a production. Many women back then sprinkled their clothes, folded them and either set them aside or put them in the refrigerator before ironing. If you can tell me why they did that–and why clothing didn’t mold — well, I’d sure like to know.
Here’s a close up of a vintage sprinkle head. I can still remember my grandmother shaking the water onto my father’s handkerchiefs and the iron sizzling when it hit the damp linen. Yes, vintage ironing had sound effects. And a little aroma, too.
Handkerchiefs. Now, that’s another subject. Can you think of anything more germy than a used hanky? Disposable tissues are so much better.
Yet there’s a romance to the handkerchief.
But only if it’s clean. Right?
Back to ironing in the mid-2oth century or earlier.
This subject came up after I’d hung clothes to dry on a cool day. When I went to take them down, I couldn’t tell if they were still damp or dry and simply cool from the air. Thinking back to my trips to Europe, I knew that many European women have no clothes dryers. Even in winter, they must hang clothes to dry. How does that work on those frigid days? I wondered.
This was once a most-modern invention.
I have to admit that I love to iron, as long as the item isn’t too intricate. Very few chores give such immediate gratification. Now, I’m not as bad as my girlfriend, who irons sheets and pillowcases, but draws the line at underwear. Barely.
I’d consider ironing pillowcases but the idea of ironing king-sized sheets is daunting–how would I keep them from dragging on the floor? Still, I kind like the memory of crisply ironed linens.
So I decided to hunt down the equivalent of a sprinkle head. Because really, sprinkling is how to get laundry super-crisp. That sizzle? I haven’t heard it in soo long and wanted to hear it again. And here’s what I found.
Yes, it’s plastic, and it’s red and not really like the ones our mothers used when they were ironing in the past. But it’s a modern version that I can simply pop onto a bottle, glass or plastic (glass, of course!) Want one?
I have one to give away in a random drawing.
So here’s the drill. I’m collecting memories of old-time, household chores–how they were done differently in the mid-2oth century or earlier. What do you remember your mom, grandmother or even great-grandma or great-aunt doing around the house? How were THEIR “modern” tools different from ours today?
Leave a comment on this post below about those memories to qualify for the drawing. Each social share on Facebook, G+ or Twitter gets you another entry–so be sure you have me on Facebook or as +CarolCassara or @ccassara.
Have I thanked you properly? No? My mama was a stickler for good manners, like being on time and saying “Thank you!” So here you go!
Giveaway closes at midnight, Dec. 31, 2014 and is open to those with North American mailing addresses.