I can remember that we had at least a dozen old clothes irons around the house. Some of them were the same, but there were different decorative things on others of them. Some had wood handles. I don't remember mom ever using them because she always used the electric one but, when they were used, I think people had a bunch of them, probably because they didn't stay the right temperature for long, so they'd switch off. Being cast iron, I think we kept them for their heat-retention properties. Particularly when you heat your house with wood, cast iron will absorb the heat and retain it for a while, so that the house wouldn't freeze too badly during the night.