This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
A simple as well as inexpensive device for preventing the shrinking of stockings, more particularly those of children, after they have been washed, thus saving great wear and tear on the fabrics and increasing their length of life, is shown in the illustration. The stretcher can be made by anyone, a knowledge of woodcraft or art being unnecessary. If used, the device will prove to effect quite a saving in money, labor and worry in the course of a year.
Place a new and unused stocking, that properly fits the foot, flat on a heavy piece of cardboard or a wood board, if desired, and mark an outline of the stocking on the board with a pencil. Cut out the design with a penknife or heavy pair of scissors and smooth the edges. A design having the same shape and size as the stocking results. Duplicate boards can be easily made. Place a spool, such as used to hold the finest silk thread, near the upper end of the first form and on top of this place the second. Then drive a nail through the boards and spool and clinch it, or better still, use a small bolt. When the stockings are washed and the dampness wrung out as well as possible, stretch them over the boards and hang them up to dry. They will retain their shape and are easily ironed.-Contributed by Wm. P. Kennedy, Washington, D. C.