Ironing is not the most romantic of occupations, although remember that old fold song?

‘Dashing away with the smoothing (steaming) iron she stole my heart away.’

Ironing meme.

Keep it up.

The steam iron was born along with baby boomers like myself..  The following is from the Melbourne Argus, on June 30 1952

Ironing with steam was a whole new experience.

This iron presses with the creaseless finish of a dry-cleaned job, and eliminates damping and rolling of garments. The only dampening thing is the price – £15.  The centre of the iron has a small tank which is filled with distilled water. It requires refilling every two and a half hours. When  the iron reaches a certain temperature, a jet of steam escapes from the slit surface of the iron onto the garment as it is pressed.

They looked a bit like this old Sunbeam, the one my mother had;



This would be funny if only they hadn’t upset me with the omission of the apostrophe!

When they started to go wrong, as appliances tend to do, there was the  dilemma of whether it was more economical  to have an iron  repaired, or  traded in for a new one;


The steam iron eventually needs replacing.

As a newly wed  I went to the trouble of  putting beautiful creases in my husband Rob’s jeans…..of course he was not impressed! I also ironed tea-towels, but not sheets, as many people did.  Incidentally, my Rob could iron shirts as well as I could, taught by his Nana before he went to university  he told me.

The main problem with irons back then was that there were no warning ‘beeps’ or automatic shut-offs it you forgot to turn them off. I know what I’m about to write sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Colleagues of a woman were puzzled at the weight of her handbag until she confessed that she  took her iron to work every day due to the fear of leaving it on.

Ironing is a now dying art. I should have realized this some  years ago when I was holding a ‘boot sale’ in the UK. We  had a couple of irons in  excellent condition on offer from the holiday home we were selling.  To my  shock  and annoyance we couldn’t even give them away!

Now here is the irony. We are about to let a short stay holiday flat here in the Blue Mountains and one of the necessities listed by the agent is an ironing board and steam iron, even though nobody seems to use them these days.  I think this is partly because  modern  fabrics don’t require ironing and partly due  to people not caring about a few wrinkles.

Now admittedly I don’t use my own iron that often, especially since Rob no longer wears business shirts, but I can’t imagine not owning one. I was very amused when someone on our community FB page said her daughter found an iron in a cupboard and said,  ‘What’s this Mum?’ 


The inspiration for this piece was a hilarious hotel room hack I came across involving an iron. The idea is that if there is no cooking facility you can make a toasted sandwich by using one.  All you do is make your sandwich, wrap it in foil, and apply a hot iron on either side.  😎 Admittedly I haven’t tried this yet.

Ironing away for a toasted sandwich.

Even the ironing board has alternative uses in hotel rooms; as a make-do desk, somewhere to put your luggage, or even as a bar for an impromptu party.  😋🍾

Ironing board used as a bar.


This reminds me of what a luxury it would be to have a dedicated ironing room, where the board can stay up all the time.

So there you are, the steam iron lives on.

FOOTNOTE….Did anyone bother to use distilled water? I didn’t, and maybe that’s why my iron often spewed forth watery rust. 😨



  1. Never have an iron problem. Don’t own anything that needs an iron!

  2. I still prefer to use cotton sheets and don’t possess any alternatives. My sheets are the ONLY thing I iron, as they’s nothing better than slipping into freshly iron sheets. I have to grab my turn-on’s wherever I can haha!!!

    • Pauline

      Good grief Marcia. I’m not sure whether I’m more surprised that you iron your sheets or that, presumably, you sleep naked. 😍

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.