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Who Invented The Iron Box?

By Puja RoySeptember 14, 2022
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History of Ironing: Who Was The Creator of Iron Box?

No one can absolutely tell you when we started to use heat for making our clothes smooth. Ironing is a pretty common activity that has been with us for ages and it is a tradition that we have performed for a very long period of time. Smooth clothes with no creases can not only elevate the look of a person but can also be a symbol of class and stature. So, this is where ironing proves to be a beneficial act for sure. But very few of us know who invented the iron box


The origin of the ironing activity and the iron that we use today remains somewhat of a mystery. Well, not anymore. Here we are going to talk about the history of ironing and discuss everything from the coal iron box to the electric iron that we use today. 


Who Invented Ironing? What Can We Learn about It? 

Well, it was the Chinese who were the first ones to use hot metal with charcoal on top of it to iron the clothes. The use of the metal iron box helped in making the clothes smoother and removing creases in the 1st Century. However, different techniques have since been used for the creation of efficient methods to iron clothes in history. Some of the inventions were made through the test of time and some just came and went like a breeze that no one ever heard about it. But one invention that we are going to mention here was the electric iron which was patented by Henry W. Seeley in the year 1882 in New York City. 


Now what is electric iron, you might ask? Well, the name itself can give a lot of information about the device. When it comes to the use of electric iron, it runs on electricity and is a very convenient option for ironing clothes. Even though it was invented in the year 1882, we are still using the model, albeit with different modifications, to this day. 


Iron Box


Iron Box


The truth of the matter is that not a single person or culture will be able to take full credit for the proper creation of the iron since so many of us have practised creating the best models with our own methods and styles. However, there are some important and outstanding inventions in the world of ironing that have actually helped the design and model improve over the years. 


Now that the invention of the electronic iron was a success, the task of removing creases and wrinkles from shirts and clothes has become a lot easier for people. The uses of electric iron have made it quite a popular product in the market. This has also led to the trend of ironing clothes before wearing them in modern society. With the electronic steam iron, everything has become simpler when it comes to ironing. All you have to do is plug in the device and it can start the ironing process very easily. Did you know what is the name of the part of electric iron that forms the base of the product? Well, it is called a sole plate. 


The combination of the electric steam iron along with the ironing board, which was created about 10 years later by Sarah Boone, made things even more convenient and easier for the people. However, that wasn’t always the case. Yes, ironing has been around us for a very long time but the electric iron was the only thing that people used. There were some other options as well. 


Details About The Ironing Techniques: Common Irons Used Along the Years 

Pressing clothes and ironing have been around us for a very long time, in one particular form or another. From electric irons to the gas iron box, there were different models used over the ages. Some of the techniques would involve the stretching of the fabric while there were some other techniques that would use pressure as well as heat. 


Ironing was basically a specialised skill in the beginning. The irons had to be properly polished and sandpapered in order to keep them from facing any damages. Also, these products had to be cleaned thoroughly. The different techniques that were used for ironing made the models improve and hence resulted in what we are using today. So, here we are going to have a discussion about some of the common types of irons that were used through the times. 


For instance, the steam iron that was invented by Henry Seeley wasn’t really a big success in the beginning. The development process for the electric steam iron took another 10 years as the temperature control system was added to the iron. In the year 1926, the Aldec Company first introduced the steam iron which would release vapour in order to steam the clothes and keep them wrinkle-free. 


Apart from that, flat irons or more commonly known as Sad Irons were also a very common product used by blacksmiths during the Middle Ages. These irons were made of stone and were heated over a fire to help in the ironing process. Another very common type of iron that is still commonly used in Africa and some parts of India is the Box or the Charcoal Iron. The uses of iron box were that it helped in ironing the clothes with the help of a container instead of using metal chunks and plates. The container would have air holes and a hinged lid for the charcoal to be able to breathe and fire up properly. There were many such models in history that brought us to where we are today. 


Conclusion: The Scenario of Ironing Today 

There have been a lot of changes in the steam iron that we see today and that is undoubtedly due to the hard work and intelligence of our ancestors. Since 1st Century China, the iron box has gone through different variations and now we have a lot of convenience in the task of ironing. We can now iron clothes smoothly and without any hindrance. There are temperature controls and many other factors to benefit from. Hence, the uses of the iron boxes have increased today as well.