A Victorian-Era Space-Saving Laundry Drying Rack

To the Victorians, the widespread availability of metal casting must’ve seemed like 3D printing today; now alluva sudden manufacturers could create new, fanciful, elaborate forms that would be difficult to make using previous means. In 1800s England this cast iron thing, known as an airer or a “creel,” became popular as a space-saving laundry device.

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The two cast iron hangers would be joined by long pieces of wood with the corners eased off, corresponding with the racetrack-shaped holes in the hangers. This gave the wood a laundry-friendly cross-section. The hangers would be hung from pulleys attached to the ceiling, with the idea being that you could pull the thing up and out of the way when not needed. Here’s a modern-day version of the product, called a Sheila Maid:

Creels fell out of favor in the 20th century, but were resuscitated in the mid-1980s by entrepreneur Sheila Johnston, who re-launched the product you see above.

Today there’s still a market for them; there’s even people making and selling them on Etsy. (I love this person’s Etsy handle: “IronmongeryWorld.”)

Source: core77

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