Dutch term – Mangelhoudster

A reader asked me about the term mangelhoudster. It literally means “keeper of a mangle.” The mangle would be a dvice to put laundry through to dry and flatten it. The occupation is mainly found in and around Amsterdam. It could be that the mangelhoudster owned a mangle that others could use for a fee, or that she was a laundress herself.

I have tried to find more documentation about the occupation but did not find much. An entry in the J.B. Glasbergen’s Beroepsnamenboek [occupation’s book], a dictionary of Dutch occupations, just lists the above explanation as a possibility, nothing definitive. The references I found in other books make this sound like a plausible explanation so I thought I’d share it for others to find.

Laundress. Credits: G.G. Haanen, collection RIjksmuseum (public domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a board-certified genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for almost 30 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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