|Gas-pressure irons were manufactured as early as 1900, and were around through at least the 1970s, before electric-powered steam irons were a more affordable, safer alternative. Some irons made the mistake of having a wood handle, which would get hot easily and possibly catch fire. |
Archived here are images of the irons, with names and notes below. All irons on this page serve the same function, and most hold a pint of gasoline. There is unfortunately not much information about most of them.
Listed in approximate chronological order
|This iron, by Enterprise Tool & Metal Works in Chicago, is called the HydroCarbon E-Z Sad Iron. It was made sometime after 1914, but before Coleman bought the company in the early 1920s. This was the forerunner to Coleman Irons.
||This is the first iron Coleman produced, the No. 1. Made around 1924-1925, there was no pump included - the gas was gravity-fed directly from the tank. The rollerskate key (pictured) helped the fuel flow to the burner.|
|Coleman quickly redesigned their gas pressure iron, releasing No. 2 in 1925 and producing it until 1927. This model took several minutes to light, as it was an overly complex method. Despite this, the iron sold well despite its short life and is somewhat common today.
||Coleman found the No. 2's lighting method obnoxious, so they spent much effort on producing an Instant-Lite iron to replace it. This was the No. 3. It only sold marginally well, but by elimiating the rollerskate key, it improved greatly upon Coleman's technology.|
|Coleman's No. 4 iron was a short-lived follow up to the No. 3, but it was seen as very appealing to many customers. Coleman quickly redesigned it for effeciency.
||Coleman upgraded the No. 4 almost immediately to the 4A iron, and it became an instant success. Coleman made it in several colors other than the standard "cool blue" over the course of its 20-year lifespan (1929-1948), shown in the rows below.|
|This black 4A iron had a wood handle, which brought unfortunate fiery side-effects to Depression-era homes.
||This red 4A was made by Coleman Canada. This color was not available in the U.S. and is very rare. This was an anniversary present for Pat.|
|Note the different tank design, and slight variant on the handle here.
||Ivory was a color seldom-produced by Coleman Canada. This iron was signed by Herb Ebendorf (R.I.P.), which makes it the most valuable iron in this collection.|
|Coleman Australia also made 4A irons in this speckled blue color.
||This is a standard "Cool blue" 4A iron that has not been restored. The handle would get damaged with time due to gas fuel.|
|This is a green model 5 iron, made in the early 1930s. It was shadowed by the 4A and was discontinued after a few years.
||Coleman made the model 8 in the early 1930s. It didn't last for long.|
|During the Great Depression, W.C. Coleman realized that people might unable to afford fuel to iron their clothes with, and as his irons regularly needed refueling, he authorized affordable electric appliances that would be branded with the recognizable Coleman brand. This Model 38 Master Automatic Iron was among them. This iron cost $7.95, a high sum for America's darkest hour, but was guaranteed to last ten years. Coleman's endeavors were hardly successful given how shallow people's pockets were, but he had set a precedent for the technology that would eventually force his company out of the iron business. |
|This 8A iron is in bad shape. It's made of brass but is not in the best condition.
||This model 8A from the mid-1930s looks as good as new and comes with its original Good Value Iron box.|
|Coleman Canada made the No 10 "Magic" iron. Its body is not porcelain, and its green color was somewhat popular.
||This is a model 12 Good Value Iron from the 1930s. It seems to be similar to the model 8A above.|
|Coleman U.S.A. presumably made 4B irons at one point, but nobody can prove their existence. They can only make replicas like this one.
||The 4C iron quickly followed the 4B.|
|The 4D iron followed the 4C.
||And the 4E iron followed the 4D.|
|These are two 609 irons. The one in the rear is Canadian, and the one in the front is out of Wichita. Notice the different tanks.
||The 609A iron followed the original 609. This model is Canadian; the American model is exactly the same, except its tank is jet black.|
|This is the Coleman Canada 611, the Kerosene complement to the 609. The turquoise kerosene can is quite rare.
||The 611A was the upgrade of the 611 to the left.|
|This model 11 iron may have been the first Coleman Canada iron to use kerosene, but as it is undated, it's unclear.
||This Coleman Canada 615 iron is from February 1982.|
Listed alphabetically by company
|This Akron Diamond iron was sold at Montgomery Ward department stores. It has a wood handle and fluted base.
||American Gas Machine, based in Albert Lea, MN, made this unintuitive iron around 1910. The cylindrical side tank made it somewhat more difficult to use, and was scrapped for future irons.|
|American Gas Machine eventually shunned the cylindrical side tanks and made irons similar to Coleman's, like this model 67 above.
||American Gas Machine didn't just copy Coleman, either - they also made this model 6664, with a very different style of gas tank that looked ahead of its time.|
|This unique Standard Self-Heating iron was produced by a company in Cincinatti known as C. Brown Mfg. It did not sell well, as it required over five minutes to heat, and the placement of the tank made it heavy.
||This black-and-gold Improved Easy Iron is labeled "Foote Mfg." The Dayton, OH company never started on the right foot, and folded after a mere nine years. This iron likely dates to around 1910.|
|The Gloria Light Co. in Chicago, one of the few companies to appear before Coleman, made this "Pumpless Gloria" iron in the 1910s.
||This Australian iron was made by HandiWorks Pty. in Brisbane, presumably after 1960. Other variants had a blue handle.|
|This nickel-plated brass iron was made by Imperial Brass Mfg. in Chicago. Dubbed the "Self-Heating Flat Iron," it came with an unusual external pump that could be threaded atop the tank (not pictured). The arced wood handle was a potential fire hazard, however.
||The Incandescent Light Co. made this rare iron, which has a side tank that made it harder to use.|
|The Modern Specialty Co. in Milwaukee made this Modern Gasoline iron around 1909. Note the unusual tank in the rear.
||This Monitor Iron was a was likely made between 1895 and 1903. Monitor, a short-lived company that only made irons, was located in Big Prairie, OH.|
|Montgomery Ward contracted some iron design to unknown companies for sale in their department stores. This is one such iron from 1936, which looks somewhat similar to the AGM-6664.
||This is another iron made for sale in Montgomery Ward department stores. The only evidence available is the extremely delicate instruction booklet, which is crumbling apart due to its age.|
|This iron was made by National Stamping & Electric Works, also known as NuLite, in Chicago. It was likely from the late 1910s or early 1920s and appears to be a model 5986.
||This Pitner iron includes its original heating/cooling stand. Pitner was based in Chicago and made lamps as well.|
|The Royal Self-Heating Co. may have been the successor to Monitor, as it was also located in the small town of Big Prairie, OH. This was the first iron they made in the 1920s, and it looks very similar to the Coleman No. 1.
||This Royal Model 37 was likely a takeoff from its Monitor presecessors. It is a gas-gravity model that also seems to have been the Monitor Model A.|
|This Royal Model A iron seems to be an eventual successor to the one above. It was most likely manufactured in the 1920s.
||This iron is labeled "Self-Heating Comfort Co." Very little is known about it.|
|This is a Sunshine Iron, made some time before 1920. Sunshine, based in Kansas City, MO, was eventually taken over by Coleman.
||Thomas was a company in the early 1900s that focused on making kerosene products, including this Kerosafe iron. Attached is a pump that also would work with the comparable lantern and lamp, and included is its original case which is quite valuable.|
|Tilley, a British company, made this DN-250n iron starting in the early 1950s through some time in the 1970s. Its body is porcelained and the heat is user-controlled. Note the unique design of the gas can.
||Tures Co. in Milwaukee made this iron.|
|Turner Brass in Chicago made this one, which looks like a ship. The gas tank is a wider, flatter cylinder and painted black.
||This iron was made by a company called Volcan, which appears to be foreign.|
|The iron to the left says "Instant Lighting Iron" on its top side. That's all we know.|