Iron Age

close-up of vintage iron sticker that's described within the blog

Sometimes in life you have no choice: you simply have to iron. For some people, ironing is a zen activity, something they get satisfaction from. I’m not one of those people.

Although I ironed the blackout curtains we recently purchased for our TV room, I preferred to use my steamer on others. With a steamer in my hand, I’m a woman with a mission. The iron makes me feel like hired help even as I’m smoothing out my own clothing.

For the last decade – ten whole years – I’ve had a rickety ironing board that I hate! I iron so infrequently that it just seemed silly to replace when it was new and merely a poor choice. And then time wore on and we figured out how to get along, although it pitched my hot iron to the floor on several occasions. How I hated that thing. But I didn’t replace it.

As I’ve previously mentioned, the former home-owners here left a lot of things behind for us, of varying degrees of usefulness. Rugs, pieces of furniture, window blinds and lots and lots of liquid laundry detergent. They also left an ironing board that Derek folded up and set aside downstairs when we moved in. I didn’t pay much attention to it until, once again, my iron toppled off my board and I ran through the alphabet of swear words.

“This one they left is a lot sturdier”, said Derek. “Why not give it a try?” Great. A second-hand ironing board with a questionable past, I thought, as I joined him in peeling off no fewer than seven covers to reveal this:

Yellow metal ironing board has an old-fashioned Eaton's Housewares sticker on it. A happy woman in a fancy dress is shown ironing while sitting or standing! Other features of the board are listed with diagrams and drawings.

The T. Eaton Company opened in 1869 and shut down in 1999. There is no date on the sticker but considering the way the woman is dressed, and how happy she looks while she’s ironing, I’m guessing it’s from the 1950s or 60s. We couldn’t believe our eyes! It’s sturdier than mine by a long shot.

Two ironing boards with no covers, side by side. The Eaton's board is bigger and made better. It has more metal and a folded metal edge. The smaller, newer board is white and looks like honeycomb by comparison.
The old board on top – my rickety board on the bottom.

This comparison proves the adage, they don’t make things like they used to. My cover fit the older board and it’s a gem. It’s clean, it won’t topple over when I move a piece of clothing around on it and it might be older than either one of us.

3 thoughts on “Iron Age”

  1. Jean White

    and it has instructions for those who don’t know how to open and close it. Amazing find! Make sure you invest in a good apron or a house dress to wear when ironing as well Lisa.

  2. Also, tends to explain why we guys sometimes hold on to things if we believe they could be used some day, although against the advice and wishes of our partners.

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