For those born too late - these handy devices were known as pants stretchers. Mother always had a good supply of these for our blue jeans. After the jeans were washed and had not been dried, these wire frames would be inserted into the jean legs and spread out to stretch the material tight. The jeans were hung outside on the clothes line and when dry and the stretchers removed they did not require any ironing and had a perfect crease. These stretchers work not only on jeans, but also on any pair of pants where you want a crisp crease and no ironing required.
These pants stretchers can be ordered from: https://www.lehmans.com/p-1111-pants-stretcher-large.aspx?show=all. The price is $15.99 a pair (for one pair of pants) or two for the price of $30.00. I have ordered a couple pairs of these and will report on them later in this blog.
Another household essential that was found in homes before electric/gas dryers were common in the household was a wooden clothes rack. This was a wooden fold out rack that clothes could be hung on to dry when the weather outside was too rainy or cold.
Mother used one of these drying racks and in the wintertime when it was too cold to hang clothes outside. She would put the clothes dryer over the floor furnace and load it down with wet clothes. I realize this was not a safe thing to do, but we made it through many nights without anything catching on fire.
Until next time – happy ancestor hunting.