Historic Tools of North Castle

Coal-Heated Iron

This tool at Smith’s Tavern is a coal-heated iron.


The base of the iron is a container for putting glowing coals inside and kept it hot a bit longer. This is a charcoal iron.  Notice the hinged lid and the air holes to allow the charcoal to keep smouldering. These are sometimes called ironing boxes, or charcoal box irons, and may come with their own stand (but not the one at Smith’s Tavern).

For centuries charcoal irons have been used in many different countries. When they have a funnel to keep smoke smells away from the cloth, they may be called chimney irons.  Some irons were shallower boxes and had fitted "slugs" or "heaters" - slabs of metal - which were heated in the fire and inserted into the base instead of charcoal. It was easier to keep the ironing surface spotlessly clean, away from the fuel, than with flatirons or charcoal irons.


Reference:  http://www.oldandinteresting.com/antique-irons-smoothers-mangles.aspx

Catalog Items:

Item T124

Location:Bench under window #2
Length: 20 cm
Width: 10 cm
Height: 20 cm
Weight: 3419 g