Electric Iron that Toasts Bread - an Unusual Mother’s Day Gift

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Technology is directing a new group of collectors, according to antiques expert Terry Kovel. Kitchen appliances, electric fans, transistor radios and other 20th-century inventions are now collected.

antique, iron, mother's day, kovel, price guide

Hotpoint Utility Iron, c.1911

A rare pressing iron that could heat food, toast bread, boil water and be used as a heater for a curling iron was named “Best in Show” at the Toaster Collectors Association (ToasterCollectors.org) annual convention. Collectors of toasters, irons and small appliances collect rarities like the winning Hotpoint Utility Iron made in about 1915 by Hotpoint Electric Heating Co. of Ontario, Calif.

People started trying to remove wrinkles from cloth centuries ago. They used smooth stones, cow’s jaws, pig’s teeth and other flat objects. By the 1700s, heated slugs of iron were used. Later, charcoal, gas or alcohol created heat. Electric irons were invented in the 1880s and have been constantly improved since then. Thermostats were added to control heat, pointed irons could remove wrinkles near buttonholes and steam irons saved time and a lot of sweat. There was even a suitcase that included a built-in travel iron.

Technology is directing a new group of collectors. Kitchen appliances, electric fans, transistor radios and other inventions of the 20th century are now collected.

Antiques columnist Terry Kovel, mother of two, says: “Although a popular saying today is ‘Don’t give your mom anything with a plug for Mother’s Day,’ there are many collector-mothers who would love the gift of an antique electric household appliance.”

A Hotpoint utility iron like the one pictured here took the “Best-in-Show” award at the Toaster Collectors Association convention. This iron belongs to Richard Larrison, who owns and runs the World’s Largest Small Appliance Museum in Diamond, Mo.

Prices of all kinds of vintage and antique irons can be found in the free online price guide at Kovels.com and in “Kovels Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2012,” available in the online store at Kovels.com and in bookstores.

Terry Kovel, well-known columnist and author, gives information and advice on collecting. She will discuss the content of this release or any other antiques and collectibles topics with accredited media.

About Kovels.com
Terry Kovel has written 100 books about collecting, including the best-selling annual “Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide.” She publishes a subscription newsletter, “Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles,” and writes a syndicated newspaper column, Kovels: Antiques and Collecting, that appears in more than 100 newspapers and digital publications. She and her late husband, Ralph, starred in the weekly HGTV series, “Flea Market Finds with the Kovels.” The Kovels are the trusted source on antiques and collectibles. The Kovels website, Kovels.com, offers more than 800,000 free prices (all reviewed for accuracy) and other information for collectors, including books, special reports, a free weekly email publication - Kovels Komments - a database of pottery, porcelain and silver marks and an archive of useful information on antiques and collectibles.

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