Laundry in 1950s Part 3



Ironing in the 1950s was a huge chore.  As soon as breakfast was over, and the kitchen tidied, out came the ironing board.  A stack of wire hangers hung on the doorframe, waiting to be pressed into service.  Mother pulled a few pieces of balled up clothing from the pillowcase in the freezer.  Her coke bottle sprinkler was at hand just in case a piece had dried out too much.  It could be re sprinkled and balled up to go back in the freezer till it was just right.

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Mother always attacked Daddy’s clothes first since that was the biggest and most demanding job.  With a freshly cleaned iron, she went for the white shirts Daddy wore for casual and dress.  They had to be spotless, crisp, and perfect.  The iron temperature had to be high to do the job, but a bit of hesitation left…

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6 thoughts on “Laundry in 1950s Part 3

  1. Oh, I remember those white crisp shirts. My aunt was this frail little thing and her husband worked at a steel plant. I don’t know exactly what he did, but he always wore highly starched white shirts that were always sparkling white, which bluing was used to keep them that way. I remember hearing other women fussing at his expectations and what she had to do for him.


  2. My mother used to iron everything — including the bed sheets, pillowcases, dish towels, my dad’s boxers, and every single one of his handkerchiefs (he had hundreds of them, owing to his many allergies). I never saw the point of it. My mother just shook her head at what a terrible housekeeper I was because I didn’t iron my husband’s shirts. I said, “They’re permanent press, Mom. You’re not SUPPOSED to iron them.” Sigh… I miss my mom.

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