TRIVETOLOGY

Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!

N. R. Streeter’s Magic Fluter & Polisher

I’ve been a member of Pressing Iron and Trivet Collectors of America (PITCA) since 2004. Because the yearly conventions are held in the Midwest and I live in Florida, my goal is to attend at least every 2 years.

The 2019 PITCA Convention was held in Pittsburgh, PA the first weekend of August. It was my off year so I wasn’t there; but the pre-convention Dave & Sue Irons’ Auction was broadcast on LiveAuctioneers! I followed along online and was lucky to add a few nice items to my collection.

I thought everyone might enjoy seeing this fabulous iron that I won for the hammer price of $120. It’s the cast iron Nelson. R. (N.R.) Streeter’s Magic Fluter & Polisher, patented September 18, 1876. It’s complete with handle, rocker fluter, fluting plate, polishing iron base, and stand. It was advertised as “Magic” because the detachable handle could convert it from a sad iron to a fluter! That was quite a convenience for the housewife of the late 1800s.

Have you ever seen the trivet above and wondered about its purpose? It’s actually the sad iron stand that was designed to support this fluter.

Here are the individual parts. The handle, with a wood grip, is detachable for dual use. The curved, top fluter clamps on the handle for fluting while the flat bottom flute nests on top of the solid 4 lb. 9 oz., 7 1/2″ long base. The cast iron pieces were heated for fluting. Alternately, the handle can be clamped directly to the heated base for ironing.


What’s interesting is that apparently Streeter designed a number of interchangeable parts over the years for his fluter-polishers. I’m excited to have acquired this set and look forward to researching its history. Thankfully, PITCA has an excellent lending library, which will be the first place I go for gathering information.

PS: If you’re interested in trivets, irons, and/or other laundry day collectibles, please consider joining PITCA! It’s the perfect way to further your knowledge while networking with other collectors from around the USA and the world. There are many Benefits of Joining our group. Whether you’re only interested in membership online or hope to participate in some of our real-world activities, PITCA offers something for everyone. Join us!

★ Auction images courtesy of Hartzell’s Auction Gallery, Bangor, PA. Check out the Prices Realized from the Dave and Sue Irons Auction held on August 1, 2019.