For sale is an antique CHATANOOGA No. 8 SAD IRON from Chattanooga Implement & Manufacturing Company, Chattanooga, Tennessee. This heavy cast iron is rust free and is in excellent condition. Iron measures about 6 1/4 inches in length. A SAD iron’s number generally indicates the weight of the iron. This No 8 iron weighs 7 1/2 pounds (eight pounds if you round up). This iron probably dates to the early 1900s. A first rate antique collectible.
A peculiarity with this SAD iron is that the company name on the iron is misspelled “CHATTANOOCA” instead of “CHATTANOOGA”. This was likely due to a defect with the mold rather than a poor speller.
Sad irons, also called flat irons or smoothing irons, are shaped pieces of metal that are flat and polished on one side and have a handle attached to the other, created for the purpose of de-wrinkling fabric. “Sad” is an old English word for “solid,” and the term “sad iron” is often used to distinguish the largest and heaviest of flat irons, usually 5 to 9 pounds. The forebears to modern electric irons, flat irons are often triangular or come to a point to make it easier to iron around buttons. The heft of a sad iron would help it hold heat, as well as to press the fabric flat. To protect fabric and surfaces from singeing, sad irons often came with metal trivets to rest on. Sad irons are often-beautiful, intricate, and collectible examples of metalwork.
In 1895, Edward Hiram Sholar invested $650 to found the Chattanooga Implement Works. In 1898, the name was changed to Chattanooga Implement and Manufacturing Company, a name it would retain until becoming the Chattanooga Royal Company in 1957. The factory turned out pea hullers, hay presses, plows, and other agrarian tools before manufacturing other items such as irons and stoves. In 1925, the company’s East Chattanooga plant undertook a $100,000 construction project to expand the factory. By then, Chattanooga Implement had become a global enterprise, shipping more than forty per cent of its products overseas.