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Antique B&W Billiard Iron

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  • philip in china
    replied
    This would be very common with castings. The foundry would have generic shapes and then use loose letters which you can buy to customise the mould for an individual customer. If you look at a more common casting, such as bodies for vices, you can see that they are identical except for the name part of the casting.

    One amusing thing is to spot the spelling errors which are quite common on such castings.

    Originally posted by 100-uper View Post
    What amazes me is that these irons were still being sold well into the 1970's. I have a Bennett catalogue offering them in two sizes, heavy (16½ lb) and medium/small (9½ lb) along with the more usual electric Dowsing iron, which typically weighed in at 14lb. Many people think they have an antique when they come across one of these flat irons, but quite often they are relatively modern.

    I have noticed that after the second war the design of the flat iron seems to have standardised, regardless of the name on the casting. I suspect they all came from the same foundry after 1945, but if this is the case I haven't discovered the supplier.

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  • 100-uper
    replied
    What amazes me is that these irons were still being sold well into the 1970's. I have a Bennett catalogue offering them in two sizes, heavy (16½ lb) and medium/small (9½ lb) along with the more usual electric Dowsing iron, which typically weighed in at 14lb. Many people think they have an antique when they come across one of these flat irons, but quite often they are relatively modern.

    I have noticed that after the second war the design of the flat iron seems to have standardised, regardless of the name on the casting. I suspect they all came from the same foundry after 1945, but if this is the case I haven't discovered the supplier.

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  • Geoff Large
    replied
    Looking at it , I think it has been converted to be turned upside down and the flat sole plate used for other purpose .

    the tubes fitting over some sort of stand , don't ask what it then may have been used for but I see no other purpose for those tube rings other than to locate onto a stand for the sole plate to be used for something else in an upturned flat plate.

    Mini anvil ?

    UNLESS ...heated lugs placed in the 4 holes to heat the iron ?

    also for anyone who has ever used one of these irons and I have as one was kept in an old gentleman's club where I used to service their tables , they are the best to use as the plate is very thick and cannot warp but you have to time them on the heat source on medium gas flame ring , also you have to use cloth wrapped around the handle as this gets hot too , it is impossible to pick these irons up off the heat source using bare hands on the handle so it is classed as a risk to use them . many club's using them today will fall foul of Health and safety laws.

    so only for the Private person really to use.

    now for all you people with dowsing or Chinese irons where the element has blown or the thermostat keeps blowing , heat the iron up on an electric hob or gas ring and try it on a piece of old billiard cloth wrapped around you're brush ,if it scorches the cloth don't use it until it cools down a bit , if it is OK then use the iron ,
    Heating the sole plate of an iron can be done from the inside and the outside of the sole plate , I know a club where they have 5 old blown irons , because it is too expensive to repair them which is around £80 plus postage they simply buy another second hand one off ebay , they now heat the none working iron up on the electric hob .
    Last edited by Geoff Large; 2 October 2013, 08:11 AM.

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  • sberry
    replied
    Fork handles

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  • philip in china
    replied
    Which is why I suggested meths burners. None of us knows. The idea that it had been used as a candle holder- or some other totally none snooker iron related use- is most likely.

    Originally posted by DeanH View Post
    heat through materials is conduction
    but if these were for hot water or oil, etc., you would have thought there would have been a lid of some sort for protection of the user and the table

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  • DeanH
    replied
    heat through materials is conduction
    but if these were for hot water or oil, etc., you would have thought there would have been a lid of some sort for protection of the user and the table

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  • philip in china
    replied
    Convection rises. Not all heat distribution is via convection.

    Originally posted by sberry View Post
    heat rises, that would not work (meths/spirit)

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  • sberry
    replied
    LoL, now you say As it's obviously added afterwards it was probably for some other weird use as most of these ended up as ornaments, door stops, etc, but a candle holder would work as you could put 4 good size candles in the corners for a good light effect and it has a handle (though maybe not for carrying when candles alight!) - perhaps for playing snooker in a power cut

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  • ryanah147
    replied
    Wow!, the plot is really thickening with this one, and thank you all for your suggestions... keep em coming.
    The table which the iron came with was fitted in 1951, and before that it was housed in the old Marconi Telegraph Station in the southwest of Ireland, maybe the alteration was done then. I do not know if the iron came in its present condition when it was sold with the table.
    Short stubby candle holders would make very good sense if the iron was not used for ironing the table, but seeing that it was, it just discounts that idea.
    Ah well.... looks like Im back to square one.

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  • DeanH
    replied
    maybe just hot water?
    but not sure about this either, I would not like any liquid being moved above the table cloth
    definitely looks like a later addition

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  • jrc750
    replied
    I was thinking maybe to help with cooling ?? maybe corners were getting too hot, and somehow these would help ??
    I dunno, just thinking aloud

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  • sberry
    replied
    heat rises, that would not work (meths/spirit)

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  • perpetualboredom
    replied
    Short stubby candle holders for ironing your table in the dark?
    Unlikely the maker would cover up their name with them if they were original, so I'll add my tuppence to a later addition.

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  • philip in china
    replied
    The reason I asked if the tubes hold liquid is that I thought they might have been filled with meths or something of the sort, the spirit lit and the iron heated that way. Of course that is pure conjecture on my part.

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  • ryanah147
    replied
    Thank you Philip and Peter for your replies. I have just had another look at the iron and as you suggested these `rings` were fitted at a later date. It is a 1" pipe with no seams. The weld is done on the inside of the ring to the top of the iron showing no blobs of weld on the outside.
    The sole of the iron is quite smooth with very little pitting,it has also been cleaned and sanded to show it must have been used to iron the table in the last year.
    The table which it came with was one we got for nothing as the aged owner had died and the family had no more use for it.
    Looking at this pic which I have just taken you will see the rings fixed over the `B` in Burroughes, and the `TT` in Watts.
    Iv been in this trade a long time and have never come accross anything like this.
    I have just rang the son of the table owner and he informed me that the iron was always used as an iron (not a doorstop or anything in that line) and as long as he can remember the 4 `adornments` were always there.
    Well.... looks like a job for Geoff !!!!IMG_0079.jpg

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