The press iron was, literally, a lump of iron that was heated directly by a fire. It’s an invention that’s believed to go all the way back to the Middle Ages. The modern, electric iron had its breakthrough about a century ago in the USA.

Toys and games1990

Cassette player with microphone

Cassette players with sing-along microphones may be the reason so many people enter talent shows these days. This gadget gave everybody the impression they were a star. (From the catalogue 1997.)

Food and kitchen1990


Making your own pasta is not just a social event. The pasta is, aficionados insist, finer, richer in taste and more filling than store-bought dried pasta.

Because I want one1950


Shatterproof glass made these sunglasses a bestseller in the early 1950s. (From the catalogue 1951.)