Iron Dreams


Planchy Tex perfumes the air. You know that it’s just minutes before neatly-pressed clothing will hang in your closet, neatly folded sheets in the linen cabinet. Life is good.

Mexico’s second-favorite activity, right after dyeing your hair, is ironing. All decent people wear ironed clothing. None of that no-iron, toss-in-the-dryer stuff for us. It’s just not done. Those without regular help can hire a lady to come in just to iron. Or they can schlep their wrinkled goods to an ironing shop. The truly dedicated do it themselves. And now you could take ironing to an even higher level by treating yourself or someone you truly care about with a vintage Ironrite Model 85 mangle.

The Ironrite’s just right for ironing linens, sheets, jeans, shirts, dresses, and even lingerie. If it can be washed, it can be ironed. This unit is like having a professional dry cleaner’s iron right in your own home.

First uncrated in St. Joseph, Missouri, this Ironrite Model 85 mangle moved to its original owner’s weekend house, and then to the owner’s granddaughter’s own home, and finally to the Free and Sovereign State of Michoacán de Ocampo. What was a real luxury in the 1940s and the decade following can be yours.

Here’s the nitty-gritty.

  • 1.5hp Emerson motor
  • Type S
  • RPM 1725
  • 115 volt, 2.2 amp
  • Measurements
  • Open 49″ long x 38″ wide x 40″ high
  • Roller measures 24 1/2″ long
  • Closed 30″ long x 20″ wide x 35 ½” high
  • New pad cover. New cord.
  • Instructions included.
  • Probably contains more steel than your average new car.
  • It was purchased before 1950, making it older than I am.
  • Ironrite has to be hip, since it’s got its own Facebook page.

Why not brighten up your life with this one? This could be the perfect Christmas gift for your most-loved one. Act now, and avoid the Valentine’s Day (or Mother’s Day) rush. Write for more details.  It’s a treasure looking for a home.

21 comments on “Iron Dreams

  1. Carole, says:

    My grandmother had one. I have wondered what happened to it. It was way bigger, though.


  2. Steve Cotton says:

    You just resurrected another family memory. We had a mangle in the big house in Portland. Not that type of “big house.” Our immediate family was lucky enough to avoid penal incarceration. But not so for a murderous nephew and cousin. But I suspect both of them may have become laundry experts in their own way.

    As for me. I will stick with my laundress and clothes that droop out wrinkles in the tropics.


  3. Don Cuevas says:

    Oh, the irony!

    Can it be used as a sort of masaje de piedras calientes?

    Don Cuevas


  4. Don Cuevas says:

    Maybe it can be used to dry beef jerky?

    Don Cuevas


  5. Don Cuevas, it could be yours! You could be the first person on your block, nay, your municipio and all those surrounding to enjoy the Ironrite Model 85. Why, you could even make tortillas with it.


  6. Tancho says:

    Does it come with an Ita? If so, I might consider it, since my wife would enjoy not having to iron anymore…..
    I remember my grandmother having one, but for some reason, she quit using it and just used the hand iron. I think they were great for sheets and bed linens, you wouldn’t run a shirt through it would you?
    That reminds me that I need to find an Ita again….


  7. Where, in God’s name, do you dredge up these items? But, I gotta say, you’ve gone too Mexican on us. Things for sale merit a visible price. Something Mexicans do not know: Gobs of marketing studies have shown time and time again that items for sale move far quicker when a price is shown. It’s true.

    So, how much?


  8. Billie says:

    My mother had one of those but abandoned it in favor of her oldest daughter doing the ironing because said daughter stupidly did a better job.

    Did you really move it to Michoacan?


  9. Yes, I moved it all the way to Michoacan. My sister owned its twin, which she sold to someone living in San Miguel de Allende.

    I was going to photograph my laundry room, but a) this was more useful, and b) I really wasn’t sure that I wanted the entire world to witness my inventory of laundry products.


  10. Kim G says:

    You definitely hit the Mexican craze for ironing on the head. F used to iron T-shirts, which I found laughable for several reasons, not the least of which he usually wore the tight enough that no ironing was required. He also ironed levis, and other things where were already pretty flat from having been line dried. And despite his relatively modest financial situation, he also had a woman come in to do more ironing every couple of weeks.

    Why don’t you try to sell your mangle to a laundry? It’d probably pay for itself in such an establishment in no time, and by your description, it’ll probably keep running for another fifty years at least.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we send out woven shirts, drip dry some others, and then take everything out of the dryer hot and then hang it immediately. Anything to avoid ironing.

    P.S. As you may know, John Calypso persuaded a number of us to post our laundry facilities on our blog. C’mon! Join the club!


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