Ironing Sprinkler Bottles

Porcelain ironing sprinkler bottle, black and white cat with green marble eyes

Ironing sprinkler bottle, cat with green marble eyes; image courtesy of Morphy Auctions

Morphy Auctions October 2009 sale will be held the 8th, 9th, & 10th in Denver, Pennsylvania. 500 washing-related items from the Shapiro Collection will be sold including vintage washing machines, clothespins and approximately 30 porcelain ironing sprinkler bottles.

Having fallen out of use with the invention of the steam iron and plastic spray bottles, sprinkler bottles were filled with water and used to dampen clothes before ironing. Often a Coke bottle was used with a special sprinkler cork top, but decorative bottles were also produced especially for sprinkling. My own mother recalls my grandmother sprinkling bed sheets and my grandfather’s shirts. She would them roll them up and put them in the basement refrigerator so they wouldn’t mildew and the water could diffuse evenly. Later she took them out to iron resulting in perfectly wrinkle-free clothes! Sprinkler bottles came in many fun and now collectible forms- animals such as cats, elephants, roosters, human forms like this weary housewife, as well as other forms like this iron-shaped bottle.

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-Jennifer Castle, Editor,

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