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November 09, 2004

Travel iron


This is where I need someone to give up James Lileks' email address to me. I found this travel iron at a thrift store and think it is one of the most beautiful objects I own. But can I find out anything about it? No. Is there a web museum of historic irons? Not that I can find. Great iron too (and for any parental units reading: the cord is in fine condition).

The base of the iron reveals it to be a General Electric Cat. No. 12F38 (500 Watts 115 Volts) made in the U.S. of A. and I am fully assuming it has some sweet model name such as the GE Interceptor or possibly GE Ironmaster. Some googling shows my model resembles this General Electric MIB F-49 travel iron... no... wait for it... once again I am astonished at the knowledge to be found on "the internet". Iron.com features a piece on streamlined irons. The Winpower Select Heat looks like it was first deployed against the Merrimac in the War Between The States and I am pretty sure the Waverly Tool Co. Petipoint was first announced by an Orson Welles radio program as part of the Martian invasion. These irons kick my iron's ass.

Just as streamlining was enabled by new technology, so was its demise. The development of a steam iron that boiled one drop of water at a time, made the steam iron practical and very popular. Thus, the need to store water brought on larger and more squared off bases, which were now functioned as tanks. And the word 'tank' can be used to see what happened to the sleek beauties of the thirties and forties.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 9, 2004 06:33 AM

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What's with all the ironing porn? Google been good to you on all the ironing posts?

Posted by: Rusty at November 9, 2004 09:53 AM

In my teens I collected vintage appliances. I spent my summers in New England helping seniors with their Tag Sales.

Your iron looks to me to be a post-WWII GE Travel Iron F46 or F47. The F 48 was the first dry and steam iron. You're looks like the last dry model.

Posted by: Rue at November 9, 2004 01:25 PM

Gah... gah... (blown over by ironing-lore!!!).

Posted by: Flea at November 9, 2004 07:51 PM


Posted by: Rue at November 10, 2004 01:00 AM