Mrs. Potts Sadiron


Yes, “cold handle.” Genius!


Before this invention, by Mary Florence Potts, our great great grandmothers–and the girls in the family–ironed with something like this:


It was heated on top of the iron stove, which would also heat the handle, so she’d have to use a padded pot holder wrapped around the handle. (There’d be a second iron heating on the stove while using the hot one.)

In those days, laundry was hung outside on the clothesline with wooden pegs, even in the winter on nice days. Otherwise they were strung around the house or basement.

Clothes and items needing ironing needed to be a little damp, so they’d be rolled up  when not quite dry, or sprinkled with a little water and rolled up so as not to dry too quickly.

I ended up with a Mrs. Potts sadiron, which my great grandmother had used, maybe even my grandmother.

ironPotts (2)

Laura and Sherd Goff moved to Dexter in 1926, and lived in the big American Foursquare house across the road south from what is now the Dexter Park. After Laura was widowed and moved to Omaha with her sons, her daughter Leora Wilson and family moved into the big house along the highway.


Because both generations lived in that Dexter house, and both may have used that Mrs. Potts sadiron, it now makes its home in the Dexter Museum.



    • I’d forgotten! I like how you explained the “sad” of sadiron. I had other old irons in my collection (even a blue enamel gas iron), but this one was the only family curio.

  1. I just learned something. I always thought they were called sad irons. I wonder what the origin of the word sadiron is? A brand name?

  2. And – – – I just read Anne’s article and answered my own question. Very interesting. Frank had quite a collection of these and I still have a few that I use as door stops, etc.

    • I gave the rest of my collection to the Dexter Museum, but don’t even remember where I picked up most of them, only the blue enamel gas iron was from Ab’s Junk Shop in Mountain Home, Idaho! (Also bought a spittoon there once upon a time.)

  3. Great post. I still see irons like that in antique stores. Your post reminded me of an older prompted writer’s tweet I did sometime ago, and it made me chuckle all over again. I included it here, but just edit it out of you don’t think it’s appropriate.

    “Say-umm! Clovis! That’s one hell of a bruise!”

    “Yep! It’s part second degree burn too!”

    “Dude! What happened?”

    “Well, guess I shot my mouth off at the old lady, Clem.”

    “So, a bruise and a burn, Clovis?”

    “The strike came while the iron was still hot, Clem.”

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