EDWARDIAN CAST IRON FLAT IRON.
Before the days of widespread domestis electricity, If you wanted nicely pressed clothes this is what you needed.
You had to put a hot coal or charcoal inside the body of the flat iron by lifting the lid .
To check if the flat iron was the right temperature you spit on the base of the iron.
If you had any time left in the day ,you could wash and feed the kids, clean the house and may be fit in a bit of home working to suplement your Husbands wages .