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Doily stretchers and Curtain stretchers were used to make pressing unnecessary. tenter doily stretcher Curtain stretchers almost certainly predate doily stretchers and are smaller versions of tenters, the large wooden frames dating back to the 14th century, for drying woolen cloth. The cloth was stretched on the frames and held there by slightly curved nails or tenterhooks. I have a curtain stretcher in storage and will add its picture at a later date. I suspect the first doily stretchers, probably dating from the late 1800's, were still smaller versions of tenters. Pictured to the right is a display model of a Hostess Curtain Stretcher, Chicago Curtain Stretcher Co., a company that advertised its wares in 1905. Also pictured is an unassembled Stretchmaster Doily stretcher, made by a company that also made larger curtain stretchers.
frame pegboard doily stretcher
To the left is a friendlier doily stretcher (without all those nasty tenterhooks) was created in the pegboard style. Here is one on a frame that can be enlarged for larger style doilys, runners, and centerpieces. It is a 28"x28" (maximum size) Priscilla Doily Stretcher, Beh & Co., Inc., NYC -- Davis patent 2,053,465, dated September 1936.

During the 1940's and 50's the two styles below became popular, both are non-adjustable, with one taking pegs or nails and the other pushpins. The two on the left are are Hearthside Doily Stretchers, trademarked, by Sears, Roebuck & Co. The one on the far left is a "Deluxe" larger version with a star design on its backside. It came with an original bag (within the plastic one) of wooden and aluminum pegs. Next is a Halan Doily Stretcher, marked "US Patent", but I have yet to locate that patent. It was made by made by Thefco, Inc, of Jacksonville, Fl and sold by Montgomery Ward. The picture on the right depicts Hostess and Pinabord Doily Stretchers, both using US Design Patent D121,667, dated July 1940. The Hostess board was made by the Chicago Curtain Stretcher and sold by Montgomery Ward. The Pinabord was made by Pinabord Manufacturing Co., Lincolnwood, ILL.
pegboard doily stretcher           pushpin doily stretcher
An additional type of doily stretcher was found in US Patent #'s 1,378,826 (May 1921) and 1,568,591 (Jan 1926). To see and/or print any of these or the above patents, individually copy the patent #'s to: pat2pdf.org, fetch, and download.