- Minsk museums
The Museum of iron
- Address: Minsk, Bogdanovicha street, 11
- Coordinates: 53.908352,27.556827
- Site: www.minspass.by
- Metro station: Niamiha
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Museum has over 300 exhibits, representing various types of this necessary household item.
Solid cast irons, Coal irons, Irons with heating insert, Gas irons, Irons on ethanol, Steam irons, Steam irons, etc.
Solid cast irons
An ancient kind of iron — solid cast iron, heated over an open fire or in a hot oven. They appeared in the 18th century and produced up to 60s of the 20th century: despite the fact that electric iron had already been invented, many houses were not provided for the electrical outlets.
Solid cast iron was heated very long time — at least an hour and it was impossible to take it without potholders. So soon these irons have been improved: people began to make it paired with one removable handle on two cast-iron base. While first one was used for ironing, the second one was heated, so the process of ironing markedly accelerated.
Large solid cast irons weighed up to 10 kg and intended for ironing of coarse fabric. For ironing of delicate fabrics and fine details of the clothes - cuffs, collars, laces — were used small irons, the size of half of palm.
In the Middle Ages in Europe people used the brazier, which apparently came from China. On top of the iron people put hot coals and holding the handle, led iron through the clothing, smoothing out wrinkles. It was unsafe, because coal could seriously injure a human and burn clothes.
Coal irons replaced braziers in the 16th century. Such devices had opening case for coal, there was handle on top and small holes on the sides of iron. Some of them had also a tube that provided better draught.
The bottom of the iron cooled more slowly than in the brazier. To prevent coals cooling, people blew into side holes. These irons were incredibly heavy and sometimes to inflame the heat people had to swing it in different directions. Evenness of heating of the base was provided with the grating, which was put in, under the coal.
Irons with heating insert
These irons are heated by a special insert, metal bar heated on the fire, they are called as "with insert", "with bullet", "with soul". Usual, such irons had a wood handle and a “door” at the back side of the case, which was opened when replacing the cold insert on a new, more hot. These irons have a long history, they were especial popular in Europe.
At the end of the 19th century people started to produce gas irons. The principle of their work was the same as gas stoves: the iron was heated by burning gas.
In this iron was inserted metal tube, which was connected to the gas bottle, pump was located on the cover of the iron. With help of pump gas was forced inside of the iron where it burned and heated the iron bottom.
It’s easy to imagine how dangerous were these irons: because of them often happened the gas leak with all the ensuing consequences: explosions, fires and victims.
Irons on ethanol
In the 19th century people started to produce irons based on ethanol. The device has a metal box into which ethanol was poured.
Thin tubes inside the iron were attached to the box with ethanol. Fuel flew upon them inside, then was manually ignited and burned. These models were a real innovation. It was easier to use them.
In addition to irons on ethanol, there were also kerosene irons with similar working principle.
These irons were the pioneers of the modern irons with steam generator.
Their production was started at the turn of 19-20 centuries, irons were used in laundries, they were popular with the tailors.
Irons worked in conjunction with a steam boiler, the steam flowed through the larger tube, condensed in the water and went through another tube.
The bottom of the iron has holes for steam, with the push of a button steam rushed through them and got on the clothes.
The first patent for electric iron got Henry Seeley on June 6, 1882.
The basis for the design was the heating arc hidden in the case of the instrument. It was located between two carbon electrodes to which the current was supplied. The design was not perfect, so it was necessary to use iron very carefully – you could get an electric shock.
Later the arc electrodes were replaced by a spiral that has been isolated much better. Modern iron manufacturers still use this design. Changing only details, once invented mechanism is improving each year. The appliances installed thermostats that monitor temperature, metal base became glassceramic, various additional functions and modes appeared.