Thread Number: 68237  /  Tag: Irons and Mangles
Mother Is Always Right - Tarting up the Simplex Ironer.
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 909655   12/4/2016 at 20:00 (563 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Here's me at one's usual post after Thanksgiving meals; in kitchen at sink doing the washing up. Finally got down to the pots and pans, reached for a scrub pad, but nothing was to be found. Asked Mother Dear where did she keep them... response came back "we don't use those, use the bit of crumpled aluminum foil.....". Now am thinking "oh dear, Mother has been at those "helpful hints for the homemaker" articles again. She must have read one's mind the way all mothers do because she handed me said bit of tin foil and told me to get on with my work.

Well lo and behold it worked.... So that's me having been told.

Was thinking about the whole tin foil thing as decided this weekend to get stuck into the Simplex ironer that arrived several months ago, and has been sat sitting ever since.

Hauled the old girl out (and that is the proper word since ease of movement is not up this ironer's street) yesterday and got to scrubbing and polishing.

After washing cabinet and painted areas down with a hot water and vintage Oakite, began dealing with more stubborn grime with the tin foil first moistened with water, then vinegar. Wiped down with clear water, dried, then came the more difficult work.

Using fine steel wool applied generous amounts of liquid polish and began rubbing, and rubbing, and rubbing. For those who have done this type of polishing you know it is tedious and draining by hand as one must do small areas at a time. However results speak for themselves.


And after:

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 8         View Full Size

Post# 909657 , Reply# 1   12/4/2016 at 20:06 (563 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Will take more snaps later on as am in no mood to haul the ironer out and maneuver it about.

What one thought was rust mostly was years of acuminated grime from the thing sitting in that Iowa basement for all these years. Yes, there is rust but a good bit did shift (look at those screws.......), so all and all think did rather well.

The base/cabinet is painted metal. While the frame of ironer is painted cast iron and (think) steel. Ironer shoe is cast iron with an aluminum cover on back for the electoral housing and so forth.

At times like this you want a buffer or at least something that will fit on a drill. Have a Dremel tool set, but that would be too small working area.

Post# 912516 , Reply# 2   12/25/2016 at 03:37 (542 days old) by thomasortega (Los Angeles - CA)        

Silly question.

Does that "Simplex" have anything to do with the company that makes fire alarms?

I remember there was a pull station in my kitchen in Brazil that had "Simplex" on it.

Post# 912520 , Reply# 3   12/25/2016 at 06:05 (542 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Nice job! They say crumpled aluminum foil, and CocaCola is the way to clean the rust from chrome bumpers.

Post# 912526 , Reply# 4   12/25/2016 at 06:47 (542 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Is this related to the company that built Simplex 35MM cinema film projectors?

Post# 912549 , Reply# 5   12/25/2016 at 12:04 (542 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Simplex ironers were products of American Ironing Machine Company. They were sold to McGraw Edison makers of Speed Queen laundry appliances.

Raytheon later purchased McGraw-Edison and got Speed Queen, which it in turn sold off in bits; Alliance Laundry Systems got the commercial side (at first).

Consumer Reports reviews of 1950's laundry appliances always noted that the Speed Queen and Simplex ironers were similar with only slight differences. Well that would be because by then then came from same company.

Simplex fire alarms and business systems are from the Simplex Company (not part of Tyco) US

Simplex 35mm film projectors were made by the Precision Machine Company:

Post# 912620 , Reply# 6   12/26/2016 at 03:10 (541 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Good work,Laundress-didn't think all of these "Simplexes" were related.I have briefly delt with a master-slave clock system by Simplex.With the advent of digital "film" distribution to theaters-film projectors are going to the scrapyards.Some folks rescue them and--use them at home!The 35MM projectors are big,heavy-but they have their fans.They manage to get film prints to play and watch on them.Like folks who like "vinyl" and turntables.I have a 35MM projector-Holmes Portable-it does weigh about 100Lbs!Regular cinema versions may weigh close to 1000Lbs!

Post# 912625 , Reply# 7   12/26/2016 at 03:33 (541 days old) by Travis ()        


Those Holmes projectors are fun but also hard on film.

35MM projectors don't have to be so heavy. The actual mechanics of them are around 200 lbs. The base to support them can weigh another 450 and then whatever light source. You absolutely don't want a projector to move when it's running. Just a slight bump would have put one off screen.

Here are a pair of Simplex XL's with RCA sound, post WWII in their natural habitat.


Your ironer looks very nice.

  View Full Size
Post# 912633 , Reply# 8   12/26/2016 at 06:19 (541 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Travis-yes,should have meant that film projectors are heavy when assembled ready for use with their lamphouses or consoles.Since they are designed to be transported in parts-this makes it easier-something like with transmitters.Good reason why some folks have them at home!I haven't used my Holmes-just mainly for display-yes,heard that they were hard on if you had any valuable films-don't play them on a Holmes.Agree film machines need to be massive and fastned to the floor so they can't move while in use.

Post# 912656 , Reply# 9   12/26/2016 at 12:30 (541 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

launderess's profile picture
Simplex Fire Alarms are "now" part of Tyco, instead of "not".

Carry on then...


Post# 912657 , Reply# 10   12/26/2016 at 13:18 (541 days old) by Travis ()        

Many of my friends over the years have accused me of liking the heaviest examples of any appliance. The Simplex Ironer gets my approval.

Post# 912662 , Reply# 11   12/26/2016 at 13:56 (541 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
And heavy the thing is

launderess's profile picture
These Simplex ironers were marketed as being "portable" and taking up "no more room than a sewing machine" at the time. One may be true but one has doubts about the other.

Maybe because the wheels are old, but still my Simplex ironer is all metal, cast iron and bits of wood (table, forming board and roller); cannot imagine anyone shoving this thing about easily.

Remarkable this is for something almost 100 years old it simply powers up and runs just as it should. Noisy as heck, but never the less the old girl does work.

Main thing about these older appliances is one must take great care with the gears. That is they must be kept clean and well lubricated. I've used white lithium grease on the main roller drive ones to get away from having to constantly oil, but the worm drive, motor and other points will need attention as outlined in owners manual.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy