Castle Cary Museum has a wonderful collection of smoothing irons. Here they are laid out as a fleet of Ironclads pressed into service as ships of the line-n each with a determination to flatten all that is put before it.
The most unstable of all our irons has a rounded-bottom profile which, when brought into contact with its intended workpiece, gives new meaning to the expression "hot under the collar".
It is a collar starching iron.
This iron, identified as a Geese-Goose, is remarkably similar to a Geese-Gander. The former is a favoured by tailors and drapers, the latter has wandered off.
This brick-based iron - although clogged up in the rear where one is expected to insert a hot brick - is a fine specimen though the loss of a handle reduces its efficiency somewhat.
It does however possess a rugged beauty which no doubt saved it from being flattened (presumeable by another iron with a handle).
This iron is made thermally active by the insertion of hot charcoal into its innards. Wear clothing as protection against flying sparks emanating from breather holes in its sides. Idealy suited for pressing charcoal-grey garments.
Some irons can become thermally unstable when smoothing movements slow down or cease altogether. The deployment of a firewall to protect the underlying softwear is not practicable.
A methylated-spirits-fired iron augments the stock of larger irons and has the added advantage that it can be carried in the pocket.
The usual precautions apply.
In an iron-centric environment such as Castle Cary Museum's iron section, there may be detractors who say that a brass device should should be in the brass section. That would be appropriate only if a tune could be played on it. The item lies mute with the irons.
The museum has one gas-heated iron.
It is quiet at the moment.
Eco-friendly electrically-heated irons are well represented within the museum.
The first is burnt out, the second is exhausted.