MOSSEL BAY NEWS - The unique Janine Was & Strykmuseum (Janine Washing & Ironing Museum) is one of the Garden Route's best kept secrets.
Owner Jan Ellis had always had a passion for antiques and when a fellow classic car enthusiast told him about a collection of clothes irons for sale in Kleinmond, he purchased this collection in 1976, before another interested party could take it all overseas.
Even as a hobbyist collector, Jan always wanted to share his ever growing stockpile with the world and started to exhibit them at the back of his industrial laundry in Tulbach Avenue, Hartenbos.
His daughter, Janine Verburgt, passed away and Jan decided to turn this irons and washing implements into a proper museum in memory of his daughter, and so the Janine Was & Strykmuseum was born.
Visitors watch a 20-minute video about the history of laundry through the ages before immersing themselves in the more than 640 irons on display as well as washing machines and implements. Some of the items in the collection are the only remaining examples of their kind.
Evidence that ironing has been part of our existence since the eighth century, with cold ironing being done with flat stones and the pan iron invented by the Chinese in the same century.
The museum is well worth visiting, not only for its uniqueness, but in appreciation of the evolution of one of the most menial of household chores.
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