Sunday, October 25, 2015

When Things Were Built to Last

Of course we've all heard about 
"in the good ol' days" and
"when things were built to last a lifetime."
Weather it was a car or a good metal axe head,
the oldies just seem to last.
Here is a perfect example~
For some time, I have attempted to be happy with
my big expensive Rowenta iron.
It's fine for Mr. LB's work shirts,
but for smaller more detail oriented projects,
it is just too cumbersome and finicky.
I had kept my little old Rival iron that I purchased many years ago
from a clearance bin for $7.00.
It worked okay, but the steam feature had issues
which is why I bought the new
"bigger and better" iron.
Well, a week or so ago, the Rival died.
Me being me, I couldn't just pitch it so I ripped into it 
to see what might be wrong with it.

A couple of things struck me as I broke into the thing.
First, it was put together in a way that the plastic pieces
clipped so they would break when pulled apart.
This wasn't a concern for me but meant it was not made to be repaired.
Next, the plastic type number was on the inside.
This meant in order to figure out if any portion of it was recyclable,
one had to dismantle the entire thing.
And lastly, the thing was just made to be temporary overall.
I was somewhat satisfied at least that I could recycle a portion of it.
It had many hours on it, so I really did get my $7 worth.

this morning, I wanted to work on a couple of smaller things.
The thought of using the Rowenta did not bring pleasant words to mind.
Then I thought, "What about......"
"Yes, it's right there."
"Let's just see....."
I knew it worked as far as getting hot, because I plugged it in
before I purchased it at an estate sale several years ago - for $3.
I thought it would look nice next to some old quilts I have.
I got it down, attached the water reservoir, and plugged it in.
I tried it on a scrap of muslin, and
whatta ya know?
It works perfectly.
It's small, light weight and actually steams the fabric.
I then unplugged it to let it cool so I could dust it all off 
before I used it on a real project.
I am thrilled.
It just got me to thinking,
it's something I tend to do anyways, 
but if there's something I need,
I'll probably search for something old on-line before running right out
and buying the new plastic version.
I believe in the saying "buy quality and buy it once."
That's actually what I thought I was doing when I got the Rowenta.
Little did I know it was actually what I was doing when I got
the little GE at the estate sale.
I suspect it will last a long time.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches


  1. never opened an iron before, as you say all plastic and not made to be mended. I have 3 very old non steam irons that I love and only use the steam one on bedding etc and when the quilt gets to flimsy stage

  2. My Bosch mixer gave up the ghost last week and I am still crying... Hubby opened it up and sure enough a plastic part in the transmission is the culprit. $200 to replace... They don't make things the way they used to is right. Glad you remembered that iron! :)

    1. Might try to find an old Bosch to use for parts~ Trying to be optimistic over here.

  3. I so agree with you. I had an older version metal iron from the 60's that did me good until a good ten years ago. I was into quilting and bought a Rowenta. Guess what? It lasted just over a year...sheesh! So I went to the thrift store and bought another old metal iron...cheap and it works great. No more new junk for me!

  4. Amen! I hate all this plastic junk! I hate Wal-Mart. I go to the thrift shops first and find the good old meat grinders, potato mashers, coffee grinders, and whatever else I can find. I remember Mom's old washer lasted 20 years now you are lucky if one will last 10. Good luck with the iron.

    1. Slowly but surely, plastic is going away from our home. Another of my brainy ideas is that all food sold in glass jars should fit either small mouth or wide mouth canning lids. (spag. sauce, pickles, etc.)

  5. "it was not made to be repaired." That is an exceedingly sad commentary on consumer America. Shameful too.

    I bought my iron at Aldi because it didn't have the teflon coating (I do not like those coatings!). The thing that bugs me about it is that it keeps turning itself off. Apparently this is a safety mechanism because people are too stupid to know that their iron is getting too hot. How you're supposed to finish ironing is a mystery however.

    1. Oh! I so agree. If you don't know how to turn an iron off when you're finished, you shouldn't be using one. Also, when quilting, you have to wait for it to heat up between each seam.

  6. OMGosh I'm right there with ya on things being built to last! RancherMan & I shun newfangled things because we like to buy things that last. Our percolator that provided our piping-hot coffee this morning was made back in the 50's and it's still going strong. My cast-iron skillet was a wedding gift to my grandmother when she married my grandfather back in the 1920's and it's used almost every day. Yep, those things were built to last. Thanks for sharing this post! (stopping by from Our Simple Homestead hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Homestead~

  7. I couldn't agree more! My hubby and I always buy old before new, they just seem to last longer.
    Thanks for sharing at this week's Blog Hop!

  8. I totally agree with your buy it once principle. I have bought items at flea markets and antique sales and had the person say "That will make a great decoration!" They're often surprised to find that I actually mean to use the item!

  9. I think most will agree that 'things' aren't built like they used to be". The quality is just put into items anymore. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  10. I have an iron like that a friend gave to me when her mom died. I have no idea how old this iron is, but it works great. It's perfect for small projects too. Then I have a larger, modern iron for bigger projects.