Monday, October 8, 2012

Old household utensils, Lankathilaka, Sri Lanka.

Antique Brass household utensils for sale at the entrance to the Lankathilaka vihara. 
A charcol fired Iron used to 'iron' clothing. The smoke escaped along the vents situated at the sides of the upper end. 
 Brass was the material used in making household items before the introduction of Aluminium in the 1950s. The upper picture shows a variety of these items. The second picture shows a house-hold iron fired by charcol. This was in use before the introduction of the electric iron.
The story is told of how in the 1950s the then Princess Elizabeth was visiting Ceylon, she wanted her party dress 'ironed'. She was shown a charcol-fired iron which was in use in the Governor's House where she was staying. Being very apprehensive for the safety of her dress during the 'ironing', she had asked the 'Dhoby' doing the ironing how he would judge the temperature of the iron in use. The Dhoby had demonstrated by spitting on the iron. He had explained that by observing how long it took for the spit to dry on the surface of the hot iron, he could gauge the iron's temperature and its suitability to use on a particular dress material. The Princess decided not to iron her party dress after this demonstration.