Major Advancements Of The Iron During The 19th Century

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An iron is a handheld implement with a heated flat metal base, used to remove creases and folds from fabric(Cambridge Dictionary, 2016). However, this recognizable household appliance has undergone several significant advancements since its initial invention, which has been traced back to Europe in the 1300s (Smoothing Iron, 2016). Three major advancements of the iron occurred in the 19th century which revolutionize the ironing process; the Victorian Iron, Mrs Potts removable handle sadiron and the electric iron. Influenced by economic growth, societal expectations and technological and scientific advancements the iron under went changes in form, meaning and purpose. The three major changes can be analysed to reveal what influenced the change and the resulting impact on the user and user experience.

The starting point:
The Middle Ages saw the invention of the sadiron, a flat piece of iron which was heated then pressed on to clothing to remove creases. For several centuries ironing process involved:

1. The iron was heated over a fire or on stove. Experience revealed when the iron was hot enough for use but not too hot to scold the clothing
2. A piece of fabric was place over the item of clothing to be ironed to ensure that the exposed metal did not leave a mark
3. Then the iron was pressed onto the item to remove any unwanted creases
The iron did not stay hot for very long and had to be continually reheated resulting in a laborious and extensive process to item just a
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