Wrinkles in Time


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 


The good old days had their wrinkles, didn’t they?  Do you remember ironing?  After the laundry was dried, either on an outdoor clothesline or some sort of jerry rig indoors, it was taken down and sprinkled. Remember sprinkling?

Image result for clothes sprinkler made from a pop bottle

The idea was to dampen the clothes just enough to make ironing them a bit easier.  No steam irons back in those days.

Once the clothes were sprinkled, they were rolled up and neatly stowed in a plastic laundry bag that zipped shut.  Later that day, or early the next morning, each piece was removed from the bag, unrolled, placed on the ironing board, and lost all its wrinkles to the heat of the iron.

Image result for 1950's iron and ironing board

Don’t let the picture fool you.  I don’t remember seeing anyone smiling with joy while doing the ironing. It was just another chore that needed to be done.  When steam irons came along, sprinkling tended not to happen so often.  And then they added a spray feature to steam irons that allowed you to throw out your sprinkling bottle and eliminate that step of the process.

Of course, all this time some geniuses had been working on creating fabric that did not wrinkle.  Oh, the joy!  And spray starch?  Wonderful stuff.  Men’s dress shirts no longer needed to be put into a blue starch solution  after they were washed.  They could simply be steam ironed after being sprayed with the goop in the can, eliminating yet another step in the laundering process.

Related image

I don’t remember heating irons on the wood stove, but my grandmothers did that.  You had to have at least two irons:  One was heating while you used the other until it cooled off, and then you switched.

Well, times have changed.  I don’t have clotheslines any more. I miss that, though–the wonderful smell of clean clothes dried outside is truly delightful.  But I hope I never have to give up my drier. If you grab certain things out of there the minute the drier stops, and hang them up right away, you don’t need to even touch them up with the iron.

I remember my mother-in-law telling me how she ironed underwear.  Yes, ALL underwear. And sheets, before the fabric blends came along that eliminated wrinkled sheets.  Also dishtowels, pillowcases, and assorted other items that I vaguely remember ironing when I was first learning how to do it.  Used to iron my dad’s handkerchiefs. I did the same for Terry at first, until he wondered out loud why I bothered since no one ever saw them anyway, and after he’d used one, who really cared?  Once I realized that he neither wanted nor expected his handkerchiefs to be ironed, I gladly gave up that chore.

I caught his mom ironing them once, though, when we were there for a visit 🙂


10 thoughts on “Wrinkles in Time

  1. curioushart

    I used to iron for my neighbor–I got one dollar per item. It was good money for a Saturday after noon. I set up the ironing board in her living room and watched old movies. A good memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rita Kirby

    Ironing was special at our house. If you had all your chores finished, you could help iron. We set up two ironing boards in the living room, put on a stack of records and went to town on the ironing. When you got to the point of doing dress shirts, you were accomplished’!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ugh! I hate ironing! My mom use to collect things for ironing in this huge wicker basket and when it was full one of us girls would get stuck doing it. Usually me! It always ended up giving me a migraine. I’ve avoided ironing my whole adult life because of that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that doesn’t seem fair! Our ironing was evenly doled out, and I minded doing my share. My sister and I ironed our own things, plus dad’s handkerchiefs, and pillowcases, too. Mom took care of her things and Dad’s.


  4. Just found a diary kept during a visit to China in the lat 70’s. A friend sent his socks and boxer shorts to the hotel laundry and they came back starched and pressed hard as a board! I’d drawn a crude cartoon. They could have been slid under the door!

    Liked by 1 person

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