I have a young friend who's feeling a little chagrined; her daughter was given a toy ironing board as a gift, and since she's never seen my friend iron she's using the board as a bed for her dolls.
Mollie and I have both had husbands and children in the military and then in "white collar" jobs, so we are both card-carrying members of The Iron Maidens. We have strong opinions about how to iron a dress shirt, how to press a crease into wool slacks and how to iron pintucks into a skirt. I can ramble on for hours about mixing my own spray starch, and my steam iron is one of my household treasures.
I was feeling all Martha Stewart-y, ironing away in the basement, one day when Jack and Sassy were about 10 years old. They had a friend over to play and the three of them wandered downstairs. "I know what that is," said the little girl. "Oh, really?" I answered, thinking that maybe I wasn't the only housewife left in the city after all. "Yeah," she said, "my great-grandma had one."
My iron is great, but I think the invention of permanent-press is at least as miraculous as photographs of Mercury!