Posted by Tilde on July 20, 1998 at 07:05:56:
In response to Laundry question - mangling boards, written by Carolyn B on July 16, 1998 at 18:45:11
I hope this answers your question/s.
The elaborate mangling boards you describe were not really used. They were sweetheart gifts from young men to their bethrothed, showing him to be clever with his hands. (She would be showing how clever with her hands she was, by making his wedding shirt) And they were rarely if ever given in the city, only out in the country.
The simple ones, the ones that were actually used were the same size, with a handle, but practically without embellishments, and certainly without painting. They are for hitting (!), but not for hitting other people.
What you did was, you carried your laundry to the nearest brook, creek or the like; running water being preferred to hauling lots and lots of water from the well. Found yourself some nice, big, flat stone and then:
Wet the linen, beat it (stone on the bottom, linen on stone, mangling board beating away on the top), down into the water, back up on the stone, turning the fabric all ways and beating merrily (!?) on it with the board.
(I hope the description makes sense, if not, I'll try to rephrase it). But doing laundry this way was very heavy work indeed, literally beating the dirt out of the clothes, and it gives you an indication why most fine dresses were never washed (!), they would never survive it. It also gives one an indication why washing-women were usually worn out (literally) when they were in their thirties.
- Mangles Diana LB 16:32:46 8/01/98 (0)
- Thanks + some descriptions I found Carolyn B 22:05:30 7/21/98 (2)
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