For sale is an antique ENTERPRISE No. 50 SAD IRON & WOOD HANDLE made by the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, Philadelphia, PA. This heavy cast iron is rust free and is in great condition. Iron measures about 6 3/4 inches in length. The wooded removable handle is not original to this iron but is from the same time period. Locating an antique SAD iron with a working wood handle is a difficult task. A first rate antique collectible.
The Enterprise Manufacturing Company was founded in 1864. The company made cast-iron equipment for chopping, grinding, slicing, and stuffing meats and other food. It also made sad irons for several years.
SAD irons with a removeable handle were an adaptation of Mrs. Potts design. Her intent was to changed the shape of the iron to remedy the problem of uneven heating. Her design featured an iron with two pointed ends and a sturdy, removeable wood handle that arched from point to point, making it easier to transfer pressure and move the iron. Normally when ironing two irons and one handle were employed. The result was one iron was being heated while the other was in use. The purpose of the handle attaching and detaching from the iron (by raising the wood knob) made this efficient.
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.