Coleman’s Model 4A Gasoline Iron
Coleman, originally known for making lanterns, made over 30 different models of irons from 1929 to 1948. The myriad of fuel iron models manufactured by Coleman came in an assortment of enamel coloured finishes, such as turquoise, green, red, tan, and black. Perhaps the best known and most commonly found today is the “Cool Blue” enamel Coleman’s 4A gasoline iron.
The Coleman’s No. 4 iron was a short-lived follow up to the No. 3 that was quickly redesigned as the 4A iron, devised for enhanced efficiency. It became an instant success. The Coleman 4A gasoline iron was much lighter than the previous ‘sad irons’ and no longer required to be heated on the stove or by charcoal.
Instead, the pump was used to build up pressure in the fuel tank and a match was lit underneath the iron, making a flame inside the iron that would distribute the heat on the surface. Despite these benefits, fuels irons made ironing a potentially dangerous job. They had a very real possibility of causing a fire or exploding. Gas-pressure irons, that had been manufactured as early as 1900, were eventually replaced by electric-powered steam irons, circa the 1970s, as an affordable and safer alternative.