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Clothes Irons | Old Fashioned | Reproduction | Gas | Butane | Sad Irons

Updated on August 13, 2012

You might be surprised to learn that even in this modern day age of electric steam irons people are still using these old fashioned cloths irons. Many others a

Long before permanent press fabric and wrinkle free dryers were introduced almost every fabric item had to be taken off the clothes line and ironed before storing until it was ready to use.

This not only included clothing items but even bed linens, towels, and doilies. (Doilies were popular vintage hand knitted fabric pieces used on end tables and living room furniture to protect the finish from lamps and knick knack items)

Clothes irons date back to primitive hollowed out blocks of steel that would hold hot coals, to solid metal irons with handles that heated on a wood burning stove.

You might be surprised to learn that even in this modern day age of electric steam irons people are still using these old fashioned cloths irons. Many others are collecting them.

The butane iron is still probably the most popular for the Amish and off-grid self sustaining lifestyles. It uses a standard butane filler bottle like used to fill the old butane cigarette lighters.

Now to clarify, there are the Amish who don’t believe in grid power, but there are also a lot of non-Amish who have ditched the grid and are homesteading in the back roads using these types of old time clothes irons right here in the US.

As expected many people living in the underdeveloped countries still use these types of clothes irons.

The gasoline iron uses white gas and not the standard automobile gasoline.

In the old days white gas and kerosene would be sold in general stores and gas stations.

The store employee would take the customers metal can back to a large metal box container with a hand pump attached to the top and fill the container to take back home to use in cook stoves and lanterns.

White gas is as explosive as regular gasoline but did not contain the lead as gasoline did in that time period.

Kerosene was used in wick lamps and lights while white gas was used in pressurized products such as Coleman lanterns, cook stoves and clothes irons.

Today gasoline iron users purchase regular Coleman fuel available at most sporting goods stores.

The Sad Iron was a very popular iron in the 1800s, it became so because of the snap off handle could be quickly attached and rotated to a lined up of metal bases being heated on the stove top to keep ironing steadily.

With almost every item needing ironing the Sad Iron was a welcome invention, as the conventional metal iron would need to be heated every few minutes of ironing making a very long wash and iron day.

The snap on wood handle stayed cool and reduced the risk of being burnt in the ironing process or having to fiddle with a hot pad on top of everything else.

You may think it was probably named after the dreaded “Sad Laundry Day”, it was actually an old English term meaning heavy or dense in weight.

Butane, Gasoline and Sad Irons are all still available for purchase courtesy of Cottage Craft Works .Com Back-to-basics sustainable living general store.


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