Who Invented Ironing? History and Types

Background of ironing

Ironing is one of the great inventions to increase beauty in a person’s life by helping to provide you with crease-free clothes. A question may arise who is behind this amazing electronic device’s origin, and how it takes the latest shape and new different ironing devices along with many great features? What’s the shape of the first iron, how does that looks like?

who invented ironing?

Who Invented ironing? No, one exactly knows the exact time when people start to iron clothes. But the concept of ironing starts with the Chinese who used to iron clothes from pans filled with hot coals. Further later on people in northern Europe start smoothing their clothes with stones, wood, and glass. Later, the electric iron is invented by Henry W.Seeley in the late eighties (1882).

Furthermore, thermostatically controlled electric flat iron is invented in the early nineties (1920). Later, different innovations are done in ironing, and steam was used to iron garments. But the proper steam iron construction is done in 1934 and the proper spread and popularity of a better version of steam iron start in the 1940s to 1950s.

Lastly, Sarah Boone, an African American dressmaker, make ironing more easier and enhanced results by inventing a better version of the ironing board in 1892. After that new technology and inventions, in ironing and its equipment take place from time to time.

Recently, we have the latest huge variety of ironing and pressing equipment to make life stress-free like steam generator irons, a huge variety of steamers, steam iron pressers, wireless irons, and professional ironing systems. Have many different varieties of ironing boards and mats.   

Ironing Types and Techniques

Ironing is evolving in many different ways and techniques with time. We here discuss many different irons that are invented over time from the ‘flat iron plate’ to date ‘professional ironing system’.

As clothes and ironing are two interlinked things we have come along with. So, same as an invention with time, technology and science make this task easier and quicker. We put down some old history related to ironing so that you know how many different devices and ways come a long way to reach here.

Fabric Presses and Linen Smoothers:

linen smoothers, who invented ironing

Linen smoothers are made of wood, glass, and stones. In the 18th– 19th centuries these smoothers are used to apply pressure, smooth the garments, and press pleats.

And fabric pressers are wooden piece of furniture that has a base and an adjustable press that is used to tighten the fabric and make it smooth. This is mostly used to press sheets and table cloths.

Mangle Box, Mangle Boards & Rolling Pins:

In England, the concept of ironing prevails after the fabric presser’s new invention arises of the mangle box and the mangle board. The damp cloth is rolled around the roller or rolling pin, and the heavy box filled with stones was placed over the rollers and pulled back and forth for pressing. On the other hand, some people used mangle board to press, to take out wrinkles.

Later wheels are added to make this process easy.

Rolling pin and mangle board
mangle box, history of ironing

Flat Iron:

A flat iron is made of metal or stones, which were heated on the stove and fire. The handle of flat iron is made of wood or covered with cloth to prevent the hand from burning. And then it is used to iron the clothes.

Mostly they keep two flat irons while ironing, one is used and the other keeps on the stove to heat. In this way they save time.

Charcoal Irons or Box Irons:

charcoal iron, history of ironing

Charcoal iron is made of a metal box in which hot coals are put in it to iron clothes. Historically, they were used in many different countries. But the drawback is that it has holes on the lid that passes the smoke out and some coal particles get out on the clothes.

Later on, the box iron is invented, in which bricks are heated and kept in the box iron to press the clothes. This is a much better way of ironing after charcoal ironing.

Pan Irons:

These are mostly used by the Chinese and resembled box iron only with a difference in shape. The Chinese used to wrinkle out their clothes by keeping the hot coals in the pan.

Fuel Iron:

Fuel irons are much-improved versions of charcoal and pan irons. In fuel iron gasoline, alcohol, or highly inflammable fuels are used to heat the iron. Sometimes, may burn the clothes because of high temperature and is dangerous to use because they could explode.

dry iron, who invented ironing

Dry iron:

Finally, the Electric flat iron was invented in the 1880s by Henry W. Seeley. It’s having built coils and was heated on a rack. Later with time improvements are done and thermostatic iron was built to regulate the heat and set according to the cloth type. Since, today National and Panasonic dry iron is very famous and used in developing countries.

Steam Iron:

steam iron

The Eldec Company 1920 invented the steam iron. Iron with having small holes in the soleplate and a built-in water tank. It sprinkles water according to the need for cloth for more perfect ironing. It removes the stubborn creases also.

 Later on, with time more improved versions and better quality soleplates were invented and come into the market.

In Conclusion: Iron Invention

Assume, that if we have no irons and no, the invention is done to remove the wrinkles from clothes. Our garments and sheet are full of wrinkles. How does that look? So, iron plays a very crucial role in enhancing beauty in our lives.

Finally after many different types of iron inventions, after a long way a great steam iron invention. Which makes our life easy and the task of ironing also becomes stress-free.

A lot of changes are done and new inventions and innovations in ironing come that we are much lucky. As our ancestors had to go through difficulties and do much effort to get their chores done. Now we have a vast new variety related to ironing other than steam iron-like, steam generator irons, cordless irons, steamers, retractable cord irons, steam presses, ironing machines, different varieties of ironing boards, ironing mats and different accessories related to ironing make our life a breeze.