Ironrite Mangle Ironer
Ironing Is Restful and Relaxing
Until the last forty years or so, a particularly onerous household chore was ironing. First, irons were heated on stoves, then elctric irons (with no thermostats!) came along followed by the irons in the 1930s with thermostats. They were heavy, still, and required the user to stand. The heat rises, so on a warm day, Tuesday's ironing was a hot, draining chore.
The rotary ironer came along in the 1920s. A roller pressed the dampened cloth against a hot shoe ironing the cloth flat and dry. Ironrite was considered the premier maker of these machines because of their design and quality. One edition of the owner's manual proclaimed that ironing with the Ironrite was restful and relaxing.
Some unique qualities of the Ironrite are the placement of the shoe -- under the roller, the fact that both ends of the roller are open, and, most importantly, its high quality and durability. A law of physics is that heat rises, so it makes sense to have the source of heat under the cloth being ironed. The roller turns toward the user, so the released heat comes from the far side of the roller. In ironing with such a machine, it is convenient to have access to both the left and right side of the shoe, for it to be open. The Ironrite was the only maker to have this feature. Lastly, these machines were so well built (I have seen estimates of how much it would cost today to produce this product, and it was thousands of dollars!) that many have worked for fifty years with nothing more than a changing of the oil in the gearbox and new roller pads and coverings. What other appliance can make such a claim?
Official 1946 Ironrite Color Video Parts 1 and 2
- Archive.org on Ironrite
This is amazing. It is both culturally historical, and you can really see how the Ironrite works. It is true that some of the Ironrites were very little used because for some the hand/knee coordination was too difficult.