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Ober #5 Flat Sad Iron - Cast Iron -- ca 1873
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Ober #5 Flat Sad Iron - Cast Iron -- ca 1873
Ober #5 Flat Sad Iron - Cast Iron -- ca 1873
Ober #5 Flat Sad Iron - Cast Iron -- ca 1873
Ober #5 Flat Sad Iron - Cast Iron -- ca 1873
Ober Foundry #5 Flat Sad Iron - Cast Iron -- ca 1873

People have been pressing their clothing and household items since the 8th century and possibly before !! The assortment of "irons" is vast and fascinating to learn about. Having acquired a few of these old devices, I began to seek information about them, and, if you are looking at this item, you must have an interest as well.

This is a classic example of a cast iron Sad Iron. They were a product of the mid to late 1800's. It was made by the Ober Brothers Foundry, founded in 1873 in Ohio, and one of the most prominent manufacturers of these pressing irons. It is marked OBER and 5. We are guessing that this is one of their earlier models, since the trend soon turned to coiled or other open type handles in an attempt to keep them cool. The irons were designed to be heated on that wood burning cast iron stove, so by the early 1900's, and the electric ranges, this type of pressing iron began to be replaced by the more modern electric ones, in other than the more rural areas. Ober Brothers however did have a catalog and shipped to other countries as well as America.

This iron measures 5-1/2" x 3-1/2" and is 5" from the plate to the top of the handle. It appears to be in good, well used, condition. Looking straight at the iron from the front, the entire handle appears to lean slightly to the left, and I have no idea if that was a design feature or not (perhaps a balance aid?) The handle is totally firm in the base and I cannot imagine it being possible to bend it. I wish my grandmother were still around to ask! The iron does have surface rust, as seen in the pictures; however no damage that I can find.

Why don't I clean some items up before photographing them? When I look at some of these pictures, I know people must be asking that question. My theory is this: "Part of being smart is knowing what you are ‘dumb' at". To those who collect old cast iron or other antiques, there is a right and a wrong way to clean and or restore them. I do not know the "right" ways. I feel it is wisest to let the buyer do their own reclaiming of these items. I saw one electric vintage iron that had obviously been "shined up" with what must have been coarse steel wool or sand paper!! How sad -- I know there had to have been a gentler way.

We have cast iron items, ranging from sad irons, to cookware, cobblers tools, banks and a fun squirrel nutcracker. If you love vintage cast iron, these are great pieces of yesteryear. Check out the Kitchenware and Banks categories. We also have some of the old electric irons in our Housewares category.

I try to describe the items on this site as accurately as possible; however since most of the items are either antique or at best vintage, due to their age, they are sold in "as is" condition. Please examine the pictures and contact us with any questions, to request additional pictures., or to contribute further information, by using the Contact tab on our Home page. We are not experts and always welcome your input.
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