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Object Record

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Object ID # 1959.002.078
Object Name Flatiron
Other Name Iron, Box
Title Box Iron
Lexicon category 5: T&E For Science & Technology
Date 19th-century
Year Range from 1851
Year Range to 1875
Place of Origin England, United Kingdom?
Description This is called a Box Iron. It is a small, 19th-century cast iron pressing iron. It has a turned wooden handle grip (that has linear incised decor), and a trapdoor in the back. The iron body is made of thick, hollow cast iron, hence the term "box". The trapdoor opens using a lift rod, that is attached to the handle. The top of the lift rod has a knob. The interior of the iron is quite rusty and a portion of the handle has been chipped off.
Provenance Manufacturer unknown.

Used in Holland Township, Grey County, in the 19th-century (and likely into the 20th-century). It belonged to either Mrs. Alex Givens or Mrs. McKay, and next belonged to Mr. and Mrs. James and Mary Ann "Minnie" Givens, who farmed in the Massie district after their marriage in 1898. Minnie was born in 1871. She later lived in Owen Sound, Grey County.
Collection Household Equipment, 19th-c Collection
Material Iron/Wood
Dimensions H-9.2 W-7.1 L-10.5 D-4.8 cm
Found Owen Sound, Grey County
People Givens, James
Subjects Irons
Function Box Iron - A flatiron that is heated by inserting live coals or a piece of hot metal in its boxlike holder.
Box Iron - A hollow flatiron that is heated by inserting a hot iron core.

This is a household iron, usually used in conjunction with a fireplace. There would be a shaped piece, called a lug, that would be externally-heated in a fireplace, and that would be inserted into the cavity of the iron. The heat would radiate out, and the lug would eventually cool off, necessitating it to be reheated.