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Empire-era Romans had several tools similar to the modern iron. One was a hand mangle. This flat metal paddle or mallet was used to hit clothes. The wrinkles were removed by the beating. Another implement was a prelum. This was made of wood and not unlike a wine press. Two flat heavy boards were put between a turnscrew, also made of wood. Linen was placed between the boards and the increasing pressure applied by the turmscrew created pressure to press the fabric.The ancient Chinese also had several primitive types of irons, including the pan iron. The pan iron looked rather like a large ice cream scoop. This iron had an open compartment with a flat bottom and a handle. The compartment held hot coal or sand, which heated the bottom of the pan iron. It was moved across clothing to remove wrinkles.By about the tenth century A.D., Vikings from Scandinavia had early irons made of glass. The Vikings used what was called a linen smoother to iron pleats. The mushroom-shaped smoother was held near steam to warm up, and was rubbed across fabric.