This is a Coleman’s Instant-Lite iron, model No.3 made in 1927. It was fuelled by gasoline (!!) and the pump at the back was used to build up pressure in the fuel tank. A match was then lit at the vents in the bottom of the iron to make a flame inside.
These irons were cutting-edge technology in their day and were an improvement over earlier irons that had to be heated on the stove or heated by charcoal, as they were lighter in weight and heated more evenly. However, they made ironing a potentially dangerous job – as can be seen from the charring on the underside of the handle!! I would imagine refilling the iron if it ran out in the middle of ironing could also be somewhat stress-inducing as gasoline + hot iron could be an explosive combination.
This beauty has been used as the base for a whimsical art clock. Add in a spring and some gears from an antique clock plus a pressure gauge on the fuel tank, and you get a piece that is perfect for the collector of interesting vintage items, or any quilter or seamstress in your life.
Includes a new quartz movement which takes a single AA battery (not included)
Size 12″ x 3″ x 12″ (30cm x 8cm x 30cm)