A charcoal box iron

At Market Lavington Museum, we have A selection of irons from the era before electric irons. Many of these are flat irons, which were heated on An iron stove. However, there was An alternative to the flat iron in the form of a box iron, which had something hot put into a cavity in the iron itself. One design, which we do not have in our collection, involved placing a heated metal ‘slug’ into the iron. This was felt to be a good, clean option. However, the box iron on display in our museum kitchen, is the type that was filled with hot charcoal.

We have another charcoal box iron, not yet out on display.

It is a Baby Beatrice Box Iron, missing its handle.

Around its base are a row of holes. Apparently, this meant that these irons were prone to leave sooty marks on the clean laundry!

Looking inside the iron, we can see where the hot charcoal was placed.

We rather suspect that the creamy white material on the inside of the lid may be asbestos, designed to reduce the heat to the handle. We expect that we will need to contact our professional museum service conservators about this before we can put Baby Beatrice out on display.

Can you add anything to this or do you want to know more?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: