(UPDATE) blast of steam from the past: the ironrite ironer

UPDATE: The iron I write about in this post has been SOLD.

My mom is starting the process of downsizing from her home of 60+ years, and one of the items that she’ll be parting with is something a lot of you have probably never heard of: the Ironrite Ironer. It’s an ironing machine consisting of of a big metal box with a huge roller in the middle that you move up and down with a knee pedals and hand controls. The actual name of it is the “Ironrite Mangle Ironer” — sounds like your clothes wouldn’t make it through, right? But actually, if you knew how to use it, you could get dry cleaner-perfect results. Of course, the Ironrite does take up a bit of space, and as such they were discontinued in 1961.

I well remember playing nearby as my mom fed slacks, pillowcases, and shirt sleeves into the machine, and the resulting smell of steam and heated cotton. My mom was a whiz with that thing, and in fact, until very recently, she was still using it! She inherited her Ironrite from her father, who actually won an ironing contest with it in the late 1940s (the image of my big, scary grandfather winning an ironing contest still amuses me, especially during that era). Though you can’t find them new, lots of people still use them — here’s a woman who uses an Ironrite to iron the silk that she uses to make scarves.

The “Health Chair” that came with the machine is itself a design classic — it even has a place in MoMA. I’m pretty sure we used to have that, too, unrecognizable under about 15 layers of duct tape (sometimes that’s good on a chair, sometimes it isn’t); it went into the garbage far before I was interested in decor, I’m sure.

If you’re just curious to learn more, visit this interesting site by Ironrite enthusiast George Edmonson. –Mary T.

NOTE: My mom’s Ironrite has been sold. But check the comments for more Ironrite enthusiasts.

Photos via George Edmonson’s Ironrite page at hubpages.com

From our partners
Randy

I have an Ironrite mangle 85 in very good condition. I’m in Dover, De. No chair. Email me for pics! 302-632-1022 or [email protected]

Roy U

I have an Ironrite 85 in working condition. Could use some minor tlc. It comes with 2 manuals. Made in 1948. Located in Flint, MI area. Make offer or email for pictures [email protected]

matt o

I have a model 95 Ironrite in great shape. I’m in Ohio. It’s been in the family since purchased new

I’m looking for a model 88 (wood one) in good working condition. I live in the Denver metro area. Please contact me at [email protected]-Laura.

Terri W

My parents have a Ironrite model 85 which they purchased in August, 1957. They still have the manual and original receipt. Bought for $329.95.
I can still remember my mom ironing my play clothes on it. Dad even built cabinates around it to keep it protected when not in use. This is where is has been for the last 50 years.

They live in Portland, Oregon. If you are interested in it give me a call 503-930-0204.

Mary E. Berrier

Hello matt o! Do you still have your Ironrite Ironer for sale? Please advise details and price. Can this item be shipped to North Carolina or where are you in Ohio? Thanks for info. Take care,
Mary E. Berrier

Malcolm Hazel

I have a Ironrite Model 88 in perfect shape and in perfect condtion. Would like to sell. If interested please call Malcolm at 248-867-2926.

mari staton

I have a iron rite in good working order…Indianapolis Indiana. it does look shabby chic. really cool find. It is for sale. [email protected]

chris

have a ironrite mangle model 85 for sale, live in issaquah/seattle wa area, contact chris 509 426 1708

Shelly

I have one that is in excellent working condition. It is located in Cascade,Montana. You can email me at [email protected] if you are interested.
Thanks!

Shelly

Just posted, but forgot to say that this one is old-like vintage..but in beautiful shape and working!

Katrina

I currently have a Ironrite model 95 in perfect condition for sale. I live in Louisville, KY. Please contact me if interested in purchasing.

[email protected]

Bob Adams

I’m looking for a fabric selector switch for a model 85 if anyone can steer me in the right direction

Paul Levine

Contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in an Ironrite model 85 mangle complete with the health chair and original manual. All in working order! Make an offer if interested. It is quite heavy. I’m hoping to sell locally (in Detroit area) – can’t imagine what shipping costs would be otherwise!

Kristi Lucas

I have an Ironrite model 85 in working condition and the manual as well. I also live in the Detroit area and would like to sell it locally. Please contact me at [email protected] if you are interested.

Chris Leach

I might be interested in a mangle and am located in Michigan. What I need to know is can I effectively use this for pressing 90″ x 90″ round tablecloths?

Jessica Robinson

I have an Ironrite Model 88 Ironer for sale. Wood Cabinet. ASKING $200. Please contact if interested via email: [email protected]. Northern Kentucky Area.

jill

I have an 85 model with chair for sale in great shape. Willing to ship! Email if interested [email protected]

Mark Neil

Looking for a “in good shape” and fully working Ironrite Ironer. Love to buy one with a matching chair if possible. I want one that is in primo shape, not rusted, left outside, abused, etc. Please feel free to contact if you have such a beast for sale. BTW: I’m in Arizona and shipping will be paid by me for the right piece. Unless someone out west has one? Miracles still happen, I guess, and after all, it’s Christmas, isn’t it?

Best regards,

Mark

A M

@ Mark Neil I have one! Please provide your email and I will send you pictures

Malcolm

I am also an Ironrie fanatic I guess. Have 2 of them..moel 85 in great condition. Had to “downsize” from 5 machines…. I use one every week to do shirts, slacks…anything can be done on one. And it’s almost fun. Built like a tank and well designed with open ends and Presser under the roller.
What’s the 2nd one for? A spare of course ’cause once use it you never iron again. The Ironrite chair is a perfect companion since design allow you to slide in away from the ironer.
If looking check Thrift shops often (tell them to call when they get one). And of course Craig’s list. I drove 300 miles for…it was really cheap too.
Good luck and find one…I think the eBay listings for $300 and up are for old Kinkade collectors. You can do much better if you hunt a little.

Janice

I am looking for an Ironrite for my business, I iron tons of fabric by hand and I remember my Mom having one of these. I’m in Northern California and will drive to pick one up, I just need to know
the dimensions.

Debby Ruffin

I live in Fairfax, Va in a suburb of Washington, DC. I am interested in purchasing a mangle iron in very good working condition. Please contact me if you have one for sale that can be reasonably be picked up or shipped. 703-378-2579. Thanks.

Deb

Bob Fulfer

I need a heating element for a model 95 and the ceramic sheath.
Thanks for ideas on where to purchase.
Bob

Lorretta

I have ironrite model85 for sale in jackson mi great con no manual best offer

Or call 5179454301

susan blair

Is there anyone on the west coast/California that has a working ironrite for sale?? I’m in the San Francisco Bay area…shipping out here even on Greyhound is pretty expensive.

Ruth

My mom and grandmother each had one. I loved the bouncy chair!

Vangie Darby

I have ironrite in great condition and the manual as well. Looking for buyer. I am located in Washington State–Greater Northwest (near Seattle, WA)

I have pictures with the book if interested in buying.

maria

I have an ironrite in NJ anyone interested????

jo

Maria, I may be interested….tell me more about your mangle…

Or does anyone in the Boston area have one to sell??

Melinda

Vangie, did you sell your mangle?

ottie

I have a ironrite model 88 all wood that I would like to sell in ohio it work ‘s

ottie

Would like to sell my ironrite model 88 all wood work’s great. _330 310 3721

ottie

It’s been in the famliy from day one it was gram’s 330 310 3721

Joe Sysel

Anyone in the Colorado 4 state area have a working mangle for sale? 303 569-2026

Janice

I live in Sacramento area and I have an Ironrite for sale

Kyra

I have a model 85 mangle iron rite. Never been used my grandma bought years ago and passed. I am interested in selling this.

jo

Where are you located?

Kyra

I am in eastern Oregon

Lane

Dear friend MADLY seeking Ironrite in good clean working condition in Sarasota, Fl but will go up above Charlston for a great one.

Thanks,
Lane

ottie

I have one m# 88 in ohio. Nice .

Laura

I have an ironrite mangle iron model 85 in great condition for sale – live in western New York State.

rob

I have a ironrite xl in my basement does anyone know anything about these? I can’t find anything on line. Please help.

rob

I have a ironrite xl in my basement does anyone know anything about these? I can’t find anything on line. Please help.

patricia

Hello, i live in central Texas and i am looking to purchase an ironrite, really want a #85. Please call me or email me if you have one for sale. thanks. 512 303 0400

emily patterson

I am looking for iron rite mangle iron in good shape at reasonable price, Washington DC area, or possibly Boston area.
thanks.

robert law

i have a ironrite machine have not been able to find one that looks like the one i have my aunt has told me it was a proto it is in a cube like cabinet and you have to open it up and pull roller up and lock into place have been told first one made please advise me if you know anything would like to sell

Deana Martinez

I live in Whittier California and have Ironrite model 88 for sale

James Kovach

I have an Ironrite Mangle Model 85 in real good shape and working order for sale for $190.00 plus shipping. It weights about 150 lbs, and once you pack and crate it, it’s about 200 lbs or so to ship. I hear you can get quote on Freightquote.com. I live in Youngstown, OH 44502. I have it on ebay right now, February 20th, 2014. If you are interest, you may email or call me at 330-992-9053. James Kovach

Dave Buck

I have an Ironright Mangle Model 85 for sale in the Cincinnati area. It is in very good working order and has the manuals.

Please contact me at 262-213-6177

Dave