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Wafer Iron

ca.1780-1820
Origin: America
Length: 31" Diameter of molds: 6 1/4"
Wrought and cast iron
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1933-334
Wafer iron composed of a pair of circular cast iron molds affixed to a set of wrought iron tongs. The latter has long handles of rectangular to round section, one of which terminates in a knop, the other with a knop looped to retain a "figure of 8" shaped catch. A scissors-like joint held by a riveted pin articulates the piece. Rivets secure the mold disks to the flattened lower ends of the handle arms. The disc-like molds are plain on the outside and have an incuse cavities of concentric and geometric designs cast into one face.
Label:A relative of the beloved waffle and ancestor of the ice cream cone, early wafers were made from a variety of batter recipes often flavored with butter, lemon and sugar. Once heated to the right temperature, an appropriate measure of batter was poured on one face of the mold, which was then closed and returned to the heat of the fire. Well done wafers could be eaten like a cookie, while those sprung quickly from the mold could be rolled up into cones and filled with some other delicious treat. Either way, those made in cast iron molds were far more attractive than most baked goods the common person was used to eating. This particular mold produced wafers cast with beautiful raised designs including sprigs and flower petals within beaded and roped borders.