Sometimes known as ‘sad’ (meaning solid) or smoothing irons, the flat iron was the simplest type of Victorian iron. A later invention was the box iron or slug iron. These irons had a deeper, hollow base. A metal or clay ‘slug’ could be heated up directly in the fire and then placed inside to warm the iron up. Some had space for hot coals to be put directly inside, and a funnel on top to let out any smoke – particular care was needed with these to make sure soot didn’t spill out onto clean, white linen!
Image courtesy of Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum