Smoothing iron

Heavy block metal smoothing iron with twisted handle design. Long and thin with pointed nose, high sides and moulded top edge. c.1840s.
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For many hundreds of years, heated metal irons have been used to smooth textiles and clothing. For most of that time they were heated by open fires and stoves with “slugs” of iron or charcoal inside. In the early 20th Century, kerosene or white spirit burners were incorporated into the iron to heat them. This dangerous method was soon superseded by electric irons.
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