In our history collections, we have a Coleman Cool Blue Enamel Instant Lite Iron. Circa 1930’s.
Solid metal irons required heating over a hot plate or on charcoal. Those were rudimentary and hard to manage.
The gasoline powered iron was invented to save time and use indoors. The Coleman Gasoline Iron was sold between 1929 and 1948, in blue, turquoise, and green. It included a stand, fuel can, pump, and extra generator.
The pump was used to build up pressure in the fuel tank. A match was lit underneath it to make a flame inside the iron. It would heat up the metal to press the clothing flat.
While fuel ions were lighter and the temperature more even, they were quite dangerous. Gasoline, alcohol, or kerosene could cause a fire or explosion.