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Long before electricity, people still had to iron their clothes, and the heavy metal implements were often heated by filling them with glowing coals from the fire. It was difficult to keep the irons clean, this way, however, so better quality irons had a metal slug that could be heated up and then slipped neatly inside the iron's body.
We are very fortunate that this antique brass iron still has its slug, as they were often lost or discarded as the irons became obsolete as tools but appreciated as objects of a bygone era. The slug is marked with a number 7. The wooden handle has been damaged but still shows the smoothness and gloss from decades of use. The brass has beautiful details that indicate this was probably a tool in a better class of residence. The back of the iron slides up with the little lever to reveal the space for the slug.
Measures 7" tall, 8" long, 4 1/2" wide and weighs about 6 lbs.