Until recently, the only irons collectors were interested in were the heavy, primitive objects known as sadirons. The electric irons of the 1930s to '60s were relegated to the back junk tables at flea markets and garage sales. Then came the rediscovery of what was variously called dime-store deco and populuxe -- which is to say the beauty of early, streamlined everyday objects.
Of the makes and models most desired by collectors today, one is the sleek and streamlined "American Beauty" iron with colored Lucite and black Bakelite handle, made by the American Electrical Heater Co. of Detroit around 1940. The quintessential deco model is the late-'30s Petipoint Iron made by the Waverly Tool Co., Sandusky, Ohio, with fins worthy of a Buick Roadmaster.
Irons are one of the categories covered in the new "Price Guide to Collectible Kitchen Appliances, 1900-1950" by Gary Miller and K.M. Scotty Mitchell (Wallace-Homestead, an imprint of Chilton Book Co.).