This curling iron looks similar to ones in use today other than the electric cord. The curling iron was heated through a variety of devices, but typically was heated on a stove. Curling irons with wooden handles cost more than ones without. Would you pay the precious extra pennies to have the wooden handles or save those pennies for something else?
The pioneer women used the curling irons. These types of curling irons were in use for several hundred years.