Friday, 26 February 2016

Sepia Saturday 319 : 27 February 2016

My Mother used an iron like this one.

I was a keen participant to iron handkerchiefs as these items were in  constant demand in wintertime. When I advanced to tea towels the first excitement was gone, When I advanced to shirts and such I fled the scene.
We children had also a very small Iron to iron dolls dresses. It was small, shaped like a mouse and inside it had an iron mouse to heat up on the stove.. I should have kept it. It was well made with a small, polished wooden  handle. 

An 18th century coal iron

In China,  people were  ironing using hot metal before anywhere else. They filled pans with hot coals. A hot  pan was pressed over stretched cloth . This method was already used some thousand years ago.
While people in Northern Europe used stones, glass and wood for smoothing. In the west blacksmiths forged smoothing irons in the late Middle Ages.
Cast iron sadiron;The sad in sad iron or sadiron is an old word for solid.

Gas Iron

Flat stones were used to rub over woven cloth to smooth it, or to press folds. Linen smoothers made of dark glass were found in  Viking women's graves. Many of those were in use across medieval Europe.  The linen might have been dampened befor using the glass smoother. It is not sure if the glass was made hot before its use.

Glass linen smoother with handle.

Smoothers were also called slickers, slickstones, sleekstones, or slickenstones.  Some were also made of hard wood or  marble. 

Iron with  exchangeable handle

Metal irons were heated by a fire or on a stove. Irons  were made of stone, like  soapstone irons from Italy. Earthenware was also used.

Flat Irons, Flea market Paris

Ironing without the benefit of electricity was a hot, arduous job. Irons had to be kept clean, sand-papered and polished. They had to be  lightly greased to avoid rusting. Beeswax prevented irons sticking to starched cloth. Constant care was needed over temperature, decide when the iron was hot enough, but not so hot  to  scorch the cloth. 

Late 19th century iron designs experimented with heat-retaining fillings. Designs of this period became more and more ingenious and complicated, with reversible bases, gas jets and other innovations. . By 1900 there were electric irons in use on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Courtesy Pinterest and

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Wednesday; Intriguing exoskeletons;

Shells found in Wooli, Yuraygir National Park; Northern New South Wales.
    Yuraygir National Park
    National park in New South Wales, Australia
    Yuraygir is a national park in New South Wales, Australia, located 482 km northeast of Sydney. It was created in 1980, a result of the merger and enlargement of two national parks, Angourie and Red Rock ...
    Area313.7 km²

I love to display shells around the garden.

Humans have been intrigued by the exoskeletons of mollusks since they first noticed the beauty of  shells their sculpted decorations, delicate colours and patterns. In North Africa Shells have been used to make beads around 100’000 years ago. One of the earliest evidence of human culture.

An exoskeleton  is the external skeleton that supports and protects an animal's body, in contrast to the internal skeleton (endoskeleton) of, for example, a human. In usage, some of the larger kinds of exoskeletons are known as "shells".

Picture courtesy physOrg

Marine cone snails are beautiful but deadly. This marine snail moves at snail’s pace and can not swim, but its sting is instant death.
The snail's proboscis is a hypodermic needle for its venom,  containing up to 200 peptides. 

Conus  a genus of predatory sea snails, a marine gastropod mollusks in the family Conidae.

®Photos/Text Ts Titania- Everyday