Friday, July 28, 2006

Tuesday, July 28, 1925

Tuesday, July 28, 1925

Washed early and ironed lots of things thinking I would not have much left to do tomorrow but after I rolled them down, I still had a bushel basket full and I thought I didn’t have much of a washing this week. It was so cold the boys hovered over the register when Gilbert burned papers and then Dick went to bed to keep warm.

(I am confused on how she washed the clothes and if she had a wringer washer or not. I'll have to do some further research. At one time, I didn't think she had to wring out clothes, but now I am not so sure since she indicates she had to "roll them down".

It must have been very cold to want to fire up a furnace with papers in the summer time, since they didn't have any coal left from the spring. I checked the weather records, and the record low for July 28th in Indianapolis was set in 1962, and was 51 degrees, so it had to have been warmer than that in 1925.)


  1. Carol, maybe she had a mangle? I remembered people having electric mangles when I was a kid, to iron sheets and other flat items, so I googled the word, and found out that there were earlier, non-electric mangles that looked kind of like old treadle sewing machines. You fed in the wet clothes to make them smooth and press out the water, rolling as you went.

    In the rural areas around Chicago people used to burn papers just to get rid of them. They buried glass bottles & cans, and then composted or burned yard waste. Could Gilbert have been burning the papers just to get rid of them and the heat was a side-effect of keeping trash under control?


  2. Annie, you are right on! I called my Mom as I'd had forgotten to get more information about rolling down the clothes.

    She said that Grandma would dry the clothes outside on a line, then sprinkle them with water, roll them up so the moisture was distributed throughout, then she used a mangle, which was electric, to smooth out the clothes. The mangle had a padded tube and a metal plate that actual heated up, and you would feed the clothes between the tube and the metal. The tube turned slowly to pull the clothes through.

    Grandma fed sheets through it to press them. If you were good enough at it, you could also iron a man's shirt with it, but that took some skill. This was faster than ironing. She never let any of her children use it, for fear they would catch their fingers in it and burn themselves.

    She would sit in the evening with it, feeding through sheets, hankies, etc. They ironed everything back then.