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

An antique mall purchase

In May, finally fully vaccinated, my husband Ed and I took a long awaited 18 day road trip to visit family. We drove from Florida to Tennessee to Wisconsin and back again ~ a roundtrip of 2,712 miles. Now in our late 60s, we’ve learned the importance of stopping periodically to get out of the car and stretch. So in addition to the usual interstate rest stops, I convinced Ed to include a few antique malls along the way.

It’s disappointing that few “antique” malls in America specialize in genuine antiques anymore. Instead, they’re full of vintage collectibles, refurbished decorative pieces and cheap imports. Nevertheless, strolling up and down the aisles provided a nice break from riding in an automobile.

Of all the antique malls we visited the Exit 76 Antique Mall in Edinburgh, Indiana was my favorite. It was billed as “The Finest in the Midwest” and it didn’t disappoint! Before long I spotted this near mint set of Asbestos sad irons: two bases with shiny sole plates and a hood, with the asbestos liner intact, properly inscribed PAT. MAY 22nd, 1900. The dealer was asking $95, more than I was willing to pay, so I left it behind and we resumed driving north along I-65 towards Wisconsin.

Of course I couldn’t get these irons out of my mind so, on the way home, we stopped by the antique mall and I ran in. Would they still be there? Yes! The seller’s price was firm but I purchased them anyway, since it’s so unusual to find nickel plated pressing irons in this condition.

These two bases differ from the more commonly encountered double pointed Asbestos iron cores.

● Left: a flounce (sleeve) iron measuring 6 3/4″ long with a long pointed end.

● Right: a square heeled presser measuring 5″ in length.

If you’d like to see these two irons within a complete Asbestos set, view this mint condition Asbestos Family Cabinet set archived at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

See also my blog post Asbestos toy sad iron with removable hood which includes the patent information for the detachable handle, available in both toy and full sized versions.

4 comments on “An antique mall purchase

  1. Bill Eckman
    July 15, 2021

    That’s how I found a lot of my collection. The pandemic has slowed my searches, but since I have no idea if there is any more to find, I don’t let it bother me. Glad you had a nice trip.

    • Lynn Rosack
      July 26, 2021

      Thanks, Bill. Even when I don’t find anything I enjoy the experience. Antique Malls trigger so many memories for me.

  2. greytop
    July 15, 2021

    Sometimes a ‘find’ seems too expensive but after some thought, and a second visit, the price is more agreeable. I’m happy for you that you purchased them on your return visit!

    • Lynn Rosack
      July 15, 2021

      You’re right, Jeanette. And since I picked it up in person I saved on shipping!

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