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Tony Grist

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A Minor Gripe [Nov. 4th, 2010|09:42 am]
Tony Grist
The worst thing about washing clothes by hand is not having a spin-cycle. What I need right now- and I doubt if you can buy them (except in junk shops)- is a mangle.  
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-11-04 10:24 am (UTC)
I don't think I have ever seen a free-standing wringer, like the one pictured at Wiki. My paternal grandmother was still using a wringer washing machine as late as the 70s. Her daughter had bought her a new machine, but she didn't like it.

Back in the 30s, I am told my great-grandmother had a gasoline-powered washer, mounted on large rubber tires, so it could be rolled down to the creek on wash day.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-04 02:57 pm (UTC)
I've been looking at antique mangles on eBay. The going rate round here seems to be c.£50- only no-one is bidding on them.
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[User Picture]From: petercampbell
2010-11-04 06:24 pm (UTC)
I thought mangles were the in thing for shabby chic decor these days. Not to use, mind you, just as an attractive object. We had one when I was younger, along with the overhead pulley and the double belfast sink.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-04 06:34 pm (UTC)
One of the ones I was looking at on eBay was advertised as having potential as a garden ornament
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-11-04 09:45 pm (UTC)
Overhead pulleys are stil around - it's just that most people these days haven't got big enough kitchens or sufficient ventilation, or both, so the washing tends to smell of whtever was last cooked
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-11-05 09:40 am (UTC)
If you found one in a brick-and-mortar shop, I suspect you might pay considerably less. Here, the economic downturn has hit the antiques business rather hard and I assume its the same over there. We recently paid $250 for a high-back oak bed that would have easily sold for over $600 just three-years ago.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-05 03:26 pm (UTC)
You're probably right. I thought of going and having a look in our local junk shop, but decided that, actually, I already own too many cumbersome semi-antiques.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-11-04 12:48 pm (UTC)
You have reminded me of a long-ago and faraway incidentin the house where I was a very homesick au pair. I was carefully hanging up the baby's dresses to drip dry, as taught by a previous family.
The "little maid" (at least a foot taller and twice my girth) dragged every garment off the line:
"Faut tordre! faut tordre!" and proceeded to demonstrate.
Every little dress went back on the line looking as if it had been - er - mangled by a coiled spring
This story doesn't solve your problem, but might it raise a rueful grin?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-04 03:00 pm (UTC)
I like that story.

I've been discovering that- by and large- things just don't drip dry.

I remember my mother having a clothes drying rack that hung from the kitchen ceiling over the boiler or furnace or whatever it was.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-11-04 05:53 pm (UTC)
Yeeeees, but it depends where and how they are hanging, and what fabric they are. A well-ventilated bathroom or a 1960s sheltered line can be quite efficient, if you peg carefully and/or use hangers - and those sheltered lines benefited simultaneously from freah air and minimumal heat all the year round.
I washed family clothes by hand for almost ten years (late 1970s to late 1980s) plus a very short spin in a spin dryer - towels and sheets went to the laundrette. I realize that you can't do this sans electricity, but it remains ny frim belief that clothes wore much better then than they did after the acquisition of a washing machine and that the saving on electricity ws considerable - but, for most of us, life and space are both too short for this
My memory of mangles (I last used one in 1971) is that what suffered most from "mangling" was time and buttons. If you made any attempt at haste, buttons tended to fly off or be destroyed
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-04 06:25 pm (UTC)
I've been drying clothes by spinning them in the dryer (it's only the washing machine that's disconnected) then putting them on radiators. If it were summer I'd be hanging them out on the line.

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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-11-04 08:16 pm (UTC)
Riiiight - grovels - so it's space for sheltered hanging that is beating you?
That's why I was still using a mangle in 1971 - the laundry had been equiped in the early 60s, and assumed a staff of two that would spend an entire day washing, mangling etc.
There was nowhere sheltered to hang things, and the expense of spinning was prohibitive in an area where electrical supply was - er - variable
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-11-04 09:43 pm (UTC)
Riiiight - have you got any of those radiator "rails" (that hang over the radiators) ers, or are you putting the stuff straight onto the radiators?
Me, I hate radiators, and deeply resented being forced into a house that had them - but, if you can find rails that fit them, they do dry things fairly well - because you've then got some air circulating - sorry, I haven't the vocab to explain the physics of it, but it's getting the right combination of air and warmth that speeds drying
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-05 08:30 am (UTC)
I'm hanging clothes directly on the radiators. I believe I do have some of those rail things- or did- but heaven only knows where they are right now.

I don't like having to use the radiators, because it means switching on the central heating when it's not really needed. We like to keep the house cool- and find most other people's houses uncomfortably hot and stuffy.
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-11-04 09:51 pm (UTC)
I like it with hindsight. In the event i got sacked for quarrelling with the "little maid", which i wasn't very happy about - nor were my parents who were quite convinced that it was All My Fault because She Can Be Very Difficult and Argumentative - no arguing with that
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-05 08:31 am (UTC)
Oh dear. This was in France was it?
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[User Picture]From: ooxc
2010-11-06 07:59 pm (UTC)
No - the family was French. I suppose that it didn't help that Madame was probably as homesick as I was.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-11-04 12:58 pm (UTC)

mangled

I remember my nan's mangle. I used to love to turn the handle as she fed sheets through.

How do I sign in here? I am confused.

Liz

liz-and-harvey.blogspot.com
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-04 03:05 pm (UTC)

Re: mangled

I guess you need an LJ account. They're free at entry level.

My mother had a washing machine with mangle attached- at least I think she did- it's a memory from so far back I can't be sure I'm not imagining it.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2010-11-04 02:13 pm (UTC)
When I was a child I remember my mom having a wringer-washer and I'd like to turn the handle on the wringer as she fed the clothes through.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-04 03:12 pm (UTC)
My mother had one of those. At least I think she did. I seem to remember working the mangle when I was very small.
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[User Picture]From: wlotus
2010-11-06 06:36 pm (UTC)
I found one on Amazon.com.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-11-09 07:09 pm (UTC)
That's a smart little piece of kit. Expensive though!
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