Skip to main content


A Visit with Mrs. Potts-A Road Scholars Program by Ellie Carlson

At the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876, Mary Florence Potts' cold-handled sad iron was the toast of the fair. She spent the next two decades touring the country with a promotional lecture. 

Mrs. Potts visits the Faith Church Women's Fellowship as a stop on her tour to promote her invention. She discusses domestic life in the 19th Century, the science and technology behind the development of her invention, and what it means for a woman to hold a US Patent and manage her own affairs. Mrs. Potts appears in 1893 when she was in Chicago for the Columbian Exposition. Mrs. Potts arrives costumed, with examples of her invention and period appropriate promotional materials.


Recorded Wednesday, December 02, 2009 at Faith Church Women's Fellowship.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.