A mangle or wringer is a mechanical laundry aid consisting of two rollers in a sturdy frame, connected by cogs and, in its home version, powered by a hand crank or electricity. The appliance was originally used to wring water from wet laundry and in 1967 it was a fixed attachment at the top of Granny’s washer and I loved feeding the clothes through when we visited her in the wilds of coastal NSW.
The vintage model we have here at Albion Appliance Service, may be a couple of years less old than 1967, but it does incorporate a safety feature not fully thought out by the manufacturers. Not a day goes by where someone comes in exclaiming’ I remember Nan/ Mum/ Gran had one of these. Weren’t they marvellous/ fun/ dangerous things?’. The clothes washed in the washer, then they were fed through the mangle at the top and any water squeezed out drained straight back into the wash water. Then they all got a rinse and the whole system went through again. The clothes were basically dry once they had been through, but they did need to be put through tidily so they didn’t crease in unwanted ways. (We won’t mention her iron, she had to heat that up on the wood stove)
Earlier models did not have the top roller with a sprung safety release, and many a customer of ours will tell of someone they know whose fingers ended up a bloody mess from being caught in the mangle. So, enter the spring release. Unfortunately it was not designed with the eager 7 year old in mind, and standing beside the machine when the spring did release would have been a tooth losing experience had I been a few centimetres shorter. Instead it gave me a bruising boot to the sternum.
But what a water saver! One load of water could see you through loads and loads of washing. Sure it was black by then , but water was very scarce that first year she lived there.
We may not still be able to fix up your old wringer, if the parts are no longer around, but there are plenty we can repair for you. Talk to us about repairing your frontloader or top loading washer. They are not as much fun , but it is a lot safer.