Vintage Singer Treadle for sale – plus losing your good looks due to the ironing


Sorry about this rather naff snap of it, but here you see the 1930/31 Singer 66K in a three-drawer Cabinet Base which was up for grabs on our “Machines” page at a bargain price, provided you can collect it.

But why, pray, is it such a bargain?  Because somebody has at some point stripped the top and re-finished it, so that’s now paler than it was originally, and there’s an area of the top above the left-hand drawer which needs some magic doing to it – unless of course you cheerfully accept that as part of the machine’s character, and you’re not bothered much anyhow because it’s covered up when the machine’s in use.

OK, and if the truth be known we need the space rather urgently too, because the house keeps getting smaller, seemingly irrespective of how much stuff we chuck out.  If we can find a new home for this 66 treadle, we can move stuff about in the kitchen so we can then move into it the stuff which should be in there anyway but is currently in the bathroom because there’s nowhere else for it.

The space problem’s been exacerbated this week by the arrival of Elsie’s new 60-year old Acme wringer, for which I spent a happy hour or so this afternoon fashioning a new grip for the handle out of a piece of the blue plastic water pipe which I scrounged from a building site a couple of years ago to make hoops from for the bird netting on the allotments.

I was suddenly struck with a thought about this wringer, so I checked with Wikipedia to see if a wringer is still a wringer if you’re American, and apparently it is.  However, as most Brits over 50 will know, in this country a wringer is also a mangle, as opposed to a mangel, which is of course simply the short form of mangelwurzel, a bulbous root vegetable which all cows are apparently programmed to like when it’s chopped up with a root-cutter or a spade, even if they’ve never seen one before.

Now, I seem to remember reading somewhere once that in America, a mangel is a field beet, but what I didn’t know until today is that a mangle is what we over here call a rotary iron!  And thanks to the miracle of the internets, I now know that in 1946, the ladies of America were in danger of losing their good looks due to the ironing they were doing.  Fortunately though, their salvation was at hand … thanks to the folks at Ironrite 

Incidentally, Elsie wasn’t impressed by that commercial.  She says that if the ironing was making the women of America lose their looks and spoiling their disposition, all they needed to do was get their husbands to do it in future.  And in case you were wondering, the Singer in that film is a 201 …


3 responses

  1. I have an old iron as well, I got it when I was married the first time, Its a Hoover, It still works as well as it did when I got it, better than the marriage did. Someone bought me a new iron for a present at my last wedding, it quit after two uses, good thing I kept my old one. This marriage works better than the first one though, I think I’ll keep the DH. I think the iron is 40 years old now, it weighs a ton but it does the job, I keep it on my cutting table all the time. I hardly ever use the ironing board.

  2. My grandma had a mangler which we inherited when she passed. For what I don’t know as my Mom always sent our ironing out. Gram used the mangler to press sheets & towels. The only reason I even own an iron is because I sew. Everyone in my house knew two things for sure, if something went into my ironing or mending baskets they would never see it again. LOL

  3. Great post. My 17 year old says, “Why was ironing the men’s shirts women’s jobs? If my husband expects me to iron his shirts, I will point out that he has two hands and he can do it! I guess that was just the culture back then.”
    My mother had one of “other” mangles–great for sheets and pillowcases.
    Interesting that many of those 60+ year old machines still work while we’re lucky to fin an iron that works for a year! Times and culture *have* changed!