This past Saturday was game day for us. The Ole Miss Rebels were playing at Oxford, Mississippi. Hotty Toddy!!
The weather was perfect for game day at a nice 72 degrees and we won….which made it even a better day)) Blue was the color to wear so I broke out a new blue shirt purchased just for that reason. Then I realized that the pants to go with the blue shirt……would have to be ironed.
Now this isn’t a big thing, but why do we always sigh when we get something out of the closet that has to be ironed! So, I go to the laundry room where my flip down out of the wall ironing board is in the down position (like it is most of the time) and turn on my steam iron.
About two seconds later I’m pressing away….get my pants all done and just walk off and leave the iron. No worries…..it turns itself off once the motion has stopped. But this story doesn’t end here.
The next day, we visit my 93 year old dad and we talk about our visit to the local museum in New Albany, Mississippi where we visited last week. There were many old things at the museum that we were familiar with (not talking about the hubby here…lol) but several things that neither one of us was really sure about.
One item in particular was this old iron. Now I’ve seen plenty of old flat irons around and sure enough, right there on a bookcase in daddy’s den was two of them holding up some old encyclopedias.
Our grandson is amazed at the encyclopedia…..he drags a letter out and looks at the pictures every time he visits (he’s seven).
This is an old cast iron flat iron. You can see the number “8” on the front of the iron, obviously by the weight of it, it means an eight-pound iron. It’s made of solid iron, course this one is rusted as unused iron will do. There is no wood or anything on the handle, it’s all iron. This belonged to my grandmother. There was another iron, also holding up books, that was a little different.
This iron must either be older or was perhaps handmade by a local blacksmith.
You can see around the edges where the iron was hammered out versus the one above looks like it came out of a mold and had the number 8 on it.
I didn’t think to compare them in weight. Daddy said everyone had 2 irons or more to a household.
The irons were placed on top of the wood burning stove in the kitchen or on the top of a pot bellied stove in the living room and allowed to get hot.
Then my grandmother would take a rag to lift the hot iron off the stove and proceed to iron away. Once that iron cooled off, it was put back on the stove and the other one used. So the irons were just switched back and forth until the ironing was done.
If the wood stove in the kitchen wasn’t fired up, sometimes they would hang the iron in the fireplace to get hot. When she did that, she would have to wipe off the flat surface of the iron so as not to get soot on the clothes.
At the museum, we saw this iron with the tank on it. I figured it was something either to keep the iron hot, or maybe a water reservoir for a steam iron. Daddy said it was a coal oil iron. Just the greatest
thing that ever came out!
You could fill the tank with coal oil and light the thing and it continuously burned keeping the iron hot.
Seemed like a perfect solution, no longer having to take time out to switch cool and hot irons.
There are little space along the sides and he said you could see the flame which would occasionally shoot out the sides of the iron.
My grandmother didn’t like it he said….wouldn’t use it…..continued to use her old tried and true irons. Some people just can’t accept progress….lol.
Flash forward to my getting ready for game day. Pants need pressing….hmmmm…okay, got to have an iron, but first I have to get it hot. Wood burning kitchen stove isn’t on…..so I need to light it.
Ut oh….first I have to bring in wood from the outside, provided the wood has already been cut and chopped….and some kindling to light the fire. Get a roaring fire to going in the wood burning stove….man….the house is heating up….I’ll just go turn on the air….oops…no air conditioning.
Darn, maybe it would just be easier to watch the game on TV. Oh that’s right….no TV.
Don’t you wonder what it will be like years from now when our grandchildren are talking about how hard it was back in “our” day. Poor NeNe…..had to go to the laundry room, flip out her ironing board and press her pants with an electric steam iron that shut itself off automatically…..tsk tsk tsk.