Oskaloosa.com

Local News

July 9, 2014

Do you know what this is?

OSKALOOSA —

This past week's artifact from the Nelson Pioneer Farm is a sad iron.

Several people sent in their guesses as to the identity of the artifact.

Quentin Tschetter wrote via email: “DOORSTOP, USED TO BE CALLED A CLOTHES IRON, MAYBE SAD IRON AT TIMES, THEY WERE HEATED ON THE WOOD BURNING STOVE. SOMETIMES THEY WERE USED IN BED TO WARM FEET WHEN IT WAS -20 IN AN UNHEATED BEDROOM.

Dorothy Vos also wrote via email: “The artifact in this week’s shopper is a cast sad iron with a removable wood handle. The handle allows its user to trade off with a second heated iron.  They could be heated in a fireplace, but after cook stoves became popular housewives heated them on the cook stove.

Mark Newman also sent an email guess. He wrote: “The 7-2 one is an iron, though in the old (1897) Sears Catalog I first saw it in last year, it was actually called a "sad iron." I'm not sure why it was called a "sad" iron, though I imagine using it would probably not be a "happy" occasion.

I often saw them as sets, which I think was because when one cooled down, you'd grab the next one in line that was hot. Some sets had three or four of the weights, but just one handle.

It could be worse. I saw one iron that had a box below the handle. You'd fill the box with hot coals. Now using THAT would have made me sad.”

John Oleo wrote in an email: “Irons used for ironing clothing. Heat the iron by setting it on top of the wood burner stove but being careful not getting it too hot and remove the handle (so it doesn't get hot) then reattach and iron away.”

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