Roll Over, Dr. Freud!
This effectively targets both the Men (who would have had to pay for the thing back then) and the Women (who forsee a bit of added leisure). It sure sells the thing better than calling it a "mangle."
Etymology of the Dreaded "M" WordThe Oxford English Dictionary defines a "Mangle" as a device that uses rollers for pressing or extracting water from clothes. It gives the origin of the word as Dutch, mangelstok.
I believe that current usage feeds on a myth that people could do serious damage to their hands if they were caught in the rolls. Every modern ironer that I have seen has a foolproof mechanical disengagement device. When I got my ironrite, it was set to balk at four layers of denim. I suspect that folks who were suspicious of the machines (or jealous of their owners...) preferred the old word "Mangle" rather than "Ironer."
On the other hand, it appears that none other than Herman A. Sperlich used the dreaded "M" word in his 1928 patent for the original Iron Rite. This was probably before he got a Public Relations Department...
Mr. Sperlich's 1928 Patent No. 1,670,387
The Dreaded "M" Word as Sanctioned by Uncle Sam, Himself!
A mangle is a commercial pressing machine used in hotels or laundries to get a really good press on a garment or piece of fabric. I only know what they are because my grandmother had one from the time she owned and ran a boarding house. This one weighs a ton even though it's much smaller than the one my grandma owned. I have to stow it in the garage for now but at least I have one!
Ironrite was the best manufacturer of mangles, from what I can tell on the web. And this one is a Model 95 which is supposedly the best model. It came with a service manual and a bunch of information printed from the web about how to use them. It also had a brand new, updated for the 2000s electrical cord the last owner had put on! Sweet!