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Mangle - Hand Operated, G H Nicoll & Co, 1820 Object Reg. No: SH 850283

Hand-operated mangle used to wring water from wet laundry at a mental health hospital in Victoria, Australia, circa 1880. Manufactured by Nicoll, G.H. & Co., 1820.
Mangle has tall, cast-iron frame with 3 large wooden rollers. Sides of frame are shaped like narrow, pointed arches, holding alternating wood and metal blocks which support rods through rollers. Middle roller has large cog-wheel attached to right end of rod. This connects to larger turning wheel with long horizontal wooden handle (and 3 curved spokes). Pressure on rollers maintained by massive, arched spring across top of frame, ends fitting into arches at side above rollers and which is pushed down by a large vertical screw (with turning wheel on top) which threads down through top crossbar to push down on highest part of spring. Frame is bolted to stand with bowed front legs and with angularly curved, diagonal cross-bars. Once painted green, now flaking.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Office of Psychiatric Services
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 156.00 cm (Height), 70.00 cm (Width), 123.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: laundry equipment, psychiatric hospitals, reg no 295755, why was it made, making history - psych services
Themes this item is part of: Psychiatric Services Collection, Medicine in Society Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDICINE & HEALTH
Secondary Classification: Mental Health - Institutional Life
Tertiary Classification: laundering
Inscriptions: G.H.NICOLL & Co. BANK STREET embossed across front, top. DUNDEE embossed on back, top.
Manufacturer: G.H. Nicoll & Co., Dundee, Scotland, Great Britain, 1820
Place & Date Used: Victoria, Australia, circa 1880
References: Oral history, Dr E.C.Dax, 4 May 1992


gerry griffiths Posted on 15 May 2010 9:36 PM
I am trying to find out how the actual rollers were manufactured. I have an old mangle which has rollers in very poor condition and would like, if possible to replace them as they are probably beyond restoration.
Discovery Centre Posted on 19 May 2010 1:41 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
This might be a job for a creative carpenter, Gerry, as mangles were last manufactured many decades ago. Local wood suppliers may also be able to give advice about sourcing cylindrical pieces.
Alasdair Nicoll Posted on 29 May 2011 10:32 AM
The mangle would have been manufactured after 1840 as George Nicoll did not start his business until 1840. The business did not become GH and G Nicoll and Co until 1853 when he made his nephew George a partner. The busness reverted to GH Nicoll and Co in 1876 after his nephew died.
In an advertisement in the Dundee Directory of 1882/3 It indicates that portable Family mangles recieved the Second award of Merit at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1881
Darcy Posted on 23 Oct 2011 9:59 PM
I have a wrench with "GH Nicoll & Co Dundee" stamped on the side. Does anybody know where I can find more information on this company?
Alasdair Nicoll Posted on 12 May 2012 5:49 PM
Hi Darcey,

I could provide some information.What is your email address
Discovery Centre Posted on 13 May 2012 9:29 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Alasdair, please be aware that we don't publish private email addresses on the website. If you do have information please leave it here as a comment.
Peter Robb Posted on 20 Nov 2014 3:44 PM
Mangles: CH & C Nicoll were located in Overgate, Dundee, Scotland and the Mangle featured may have a casting of 1867 on it. One I saw recently [Nov 2014] less the bottom base and operating wheel and one gear. Had casting marks on the top casting crossmember brace "CH & C NICOLL, then number '30' in circular boss, then OVERGATE facing the mangle with the gearing rhs. On the obverse was "DUNDEE 1867". Provenance unclear but sourced in Otago New Zealand. Thought it may be a printing roller for the callenders art in paper process.Note the leaf springs on Nicolls Mangles.
Wrench or Spanner: Scottish Post Office [online] has an address for this firm as 37 Overgate, Dunedee Scotland. Search ofr 'Nicolls + improved mangles' and it should come up. There are extensive files to search

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