Tuesday, June 27, 2006

History School Project

"Don't forget to put the iron back on the stove and grab one that's still hot." says the instructor. With their eleven year old imaginations, these kids have no difficulty experiencing how tough it was to keep house in 1900. (Believe it or not, these guys are having fun!)


"Monday was wash day. Tuesday was ironing day.

"In those days, an iron was an iron! It was a six or seven pound wedge of metal that would retain its heat for only a few minutes. A man's shirt generally required two irons. Several irons would be heating while one was working. Some folks could not afford irons with handles. They would use the same handle for each iron, or they would protect their hand with a thick potholder.

"Irons were heated on a wood fire stove. You had to keep a blazing hot fire going in the stove, even in summer, in order to get the ironing done. Such stoves generate soot. The irons became dirty as they were heating on the stove. They had to be cleaned frequently and if the soot was too thick, they had to be sanded and scraped. If you got the soot on the clean white shirt you were ironing, the shirt would have to be washed all over again."

--from Robert Caro's The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power Page 510

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