This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol6", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
The next process is that of ironing, and the tables, irons, etc., to obtain a satisfactory result should be fed with a supply of gas and air, which mix together by means of special mixing valves or cocks. Gas is said to be the only means by which to get the required sharpness of heat; when gas is unobtainable a substitute is found in a gasoline generating machine. The generator is filled with gasoline at 88° gravity, and a compressed air service is connected to the apparatus, which drives the gasoline through the pipes to the machine required to be heated.
The ironing machine for such goods, as table linen, handkerchiefs, etc., is illustrated in Fig. 140. The revolving roller is covered with a specially manufactured felt. This is heated and presses the goods between itself and a heated highly polished steel concave bed below, being regulated by pedal action. Floor space required is 3 feet wide by 4 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 6 inches long.
A shirt ironer is shown in Fig. 141, occupying 3 feet 3 inches by 3 feet 6 inches floor space. The roll is heated and revolves; and at the same time the board, clothed in a sort of blanket sheeting, moves backwards and forwards. Besides shirts, collars and cuff's may be ironed on it.
If ordinary irons are used, then wooden tables would be best, such a table as that shown in Fig. 142 offering advantages for shirts, etc. Several of these are provided for in the Filey Laundry (Fig. 132). Special tables are also made for shirts in which a shaped board slides out to take a shirt front.