Yesterday I wrote that my mangle is "a biggish affair". I knew I was wrong, but everything is relative, yes? (Mine barely fits into it's "shed", and feels big enough when you are standing beside it...
Today I managed to find some pictures and the history of the biggest mangle I have ever seen.
(Scroll down a little to find the pictures.)
The description is in Swedish. I don't know how much google translate would "mangle" it, so here are a few of the key facts, translated by me:
The mangle is probably built in the 19th century and is one of the biggest in the world.
The box is 8 metres long, 1 meter wide and weighs 20 tons (20 000 kg). [...] The bottom slopes down from the middle outwards - the slope is more pronounced toward the ends, to facilitate the tipping of the box to change rollers.
Up to 1928 it was driven by horses. [...] It was then electrified
The linen goods to be mangled consisted of lots of 100 "aln" (about 200 feet) long (1) for towelling, or 12 metres for tablecloths and napkin goods.
The rollers were made of a special kind of birch*. The goods were mangled two times. A "mangle cloth" (protector sheet) was not used. [...] The goods were re-rolled between the first and the second mangling. When the mangling was done the goods had become "some aln" (2 ft) longer.
The mangle was used by the (proto-)industry.(2) "
(1) in another text I have found 30-40 metres for the towelling, but that is impressive enough...
(2) as part of the wet finishing. Measuring was done after mangling, and the weavers were paid based on the measured length (from other sources)
From our mangling today, some before-and-after pictures:
Of course, what with the changing light and other circumstances, the pictures are not quite to the same scale and... but, hopefully, you will notice the difference.
What is nice with white-on-white (or, in this case natural-on-natural) is the subtlety of the resulting pattern. Seen from a slightly different angle:
* the rollers of my mangle(s) are beech. Pictures of the small table mangle here.