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Collecting Antique Sad Iron and Their History

Antique Sad Irons Were Highly Collectable Items Years Ago But Today, They Just Make A Just A Good Door Stop.

By Dave WettlauferPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Blue Monday Photo by D. Wettlaufer

What is a Sad iron? Well, in short it’s a heavy hunk of cast iron that’s smooth on the bottom. It was highly used in every household, sole purpose, to take the wrinkles out of cloths after washing.

Up until not long ago, antique sad irons were highly collectable but that was then. Today, they are a good conversation piece and they also make for a good doorstop.

Did you know any interior decorator will recommend a must have “conversation piece” for every home? The reason being, when company comes over for a visit and you find yourself lost for words, they’ll always be something in the room interesting to talk about.

Conversation piece Photo by D.Wettlaufer

Sad Irons Had A Real Purpose Back In The Day.

In old English, a "Sad Iron" means, [solid- heavy] or some people call them, flat irons. They are heavy pieces of cast iron with the simple purpose of ironing clothes. They had a primitive-looking handle that got uncomfortably hot during use.

It wasn't uncommon for the ladies to burn their hands on the hot handles in the earlier versions. With a bit of ingenuity, inventors modified the grips with wood or a coiled "spring-looking apparatus. That somewhat cured the hand-burning problem and the later models were also modified to be more efficient.

Identifying a sad iron is easy if you've never seen one.

Photo by D. Wettlaufer

Sad Irons, Flat Irons some called them were smooth on the bottom and pointed on one end to make ironing easier to go around buttons. The heavy-duty irons come to a point on both ends. (So a person can iron in both directions.) After washing and drying your clothes, the heavy old smooth iron piece comes out to remove the wrinkles.

Just so you look real pretty for your boss when you go to work.

The Chinese were also known and recorded using some ironing system as far back as the middle ages. Come forward a few hundred years to the 12th century. The simple Sad Iron was introduced to the rest of the known world. Around the middle of the 1800s and up to today, the electric clothes iron became the most popular. That changed everything. In rural and remote communities, it wasn't uncommon to see a sad irons used up to the 1950s

Like anything in the early days, "Blacksmiths" made everything steel-related. Some people believe blacksmiths were the earlier version of today's mechanics.

So there you have it. Let’s see if I can dot the I’s and cross the T’s.

Sad Job

It was said that ironing clothes was a "Sad Job," and that's where the term "Sad Iron." came from. This is adding more information to the demanding job women had back then.

Blue Monday

A psychologist named Cliff Arnall, in 2004 coined the phrase, blue Monday. The reason is, it falls on the third Monday in January of every year. He claims Blue Monday is well known as the most depressing day of the year.

That sounds straightforward, all right, but I hate to differ on his reasoning. But through all fairness, he could have "the depressing day right." But, he wasn't an antique collector.

The honest answer to blue Monday is that early settlers had a set schedule for doing things. Monday was beef for supper day; for example, Tuesday was chicken, and they had it all laid out for each day of every week.

Monday was washday, and it was a hard, dirty job back then. Boil water over a hot wood stove to wash clothing.

And then comes the ironing. Sometimes two irons or more had to be heated simultaneously so you could switch back and forth. Handles got too hot to switch, or the irons cooled down. It was a none- stop process. And let's not forget with the tips on the sad Iron pointed on both ends, you could go back and forth faster.

So Lets Recap

Monday was wash day called "Blue Monday," and the ladies used a flat iron for ironing their clothes called a "Sad Iron." And that folks makes total sense.

That's my story folks, and "I'm sticking to it. Eh!"

The story was originally posted on this site HERE.

Thanks for reading my story and please don't forget to come back---I have more!


About the Creator

Dave Wettlaufer

Canadian writer Classic Cars is my specialty. Versed in many please CLICK this LINK to read more of my stories. To show appreciation, hit that heart ❤ button.

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