'Hot Goose, Cabbage and Cucumbers', 1823.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Caricature etching by Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) showing a laundry at work. Two men are ironing using flat irons, while a boy warms two irons against the hearth and a washerwoman stands at the door carrying a basket of washing. Also called the sad iron, this was the most common form of iron in use from the 18th century until the early 20th century. These irons were used in pairs, with one heating up over the embers of a fire while the other was being used. A goose iron was used by tailors for pressing seams.