Q: Can you give me any information about this Coleman iron? It inclused a stand, fuel can, pump and extra generator. How old is it and is it worth much?
A: You have a Coleman's Instant-Lite Model 4A gas iron with a "cool blue" handle. It was made between 1929 and 1948 in blue, turquoise, green, tan, and black enamel. Some other colors were not sold in the United States. Red and ivory-colored irons were sold only in Canada and speckled blue irons only in Australia. Coleman made over 30 different models of irons. The blue Model 4A is the one most often found today. The pump was used to build up pressure in the fuel tank. Then a match was lit underneath the iron to make a flame inside the iron. Fuel irons were an improvement over earlier irons that had to be heated on the stove or heated by charcoal. Fuel irons were lighter in weight and their temperature more even, but they made ironing a potentially dangerous job. Gasoline, alcohol, carbide-acetylene, kerosene, and other fuels could cause a fire or explode. Some irons were heated by natural gas from a gaslight or other source in the house. If your iron were in excellent condition, if would sell for about $75. An iron with chipped enamel, like yours, is worth about $50.