Do you know that wireless iron was invented by the Chinese more than a thousand year ago well before electricity and wireless communication? It depends on heat transfer from a heat radiation source that is about a centimeter from the shiny/glossy base of the iron.
What you see here is a more modern iron which was widely used about 40 years ago. I remembered my sister tried to iron clothing with an iron like this. Ironing seems to be big deal at that time...
First, we need to start a charcoal fire and transfer the hot charcoal to this iron.
Some charcoal would fill the cavity of this iron. But how to control the temperature? I afraid I have no idea unless someone reading this blog can remember it.
If I am to do it today using this iron, I would use a damp cloth to cool the temperature down to ensure that it doesn't make a hole in the fabric. I would then try it over a "test" fabric to make sure that it would not burn a hole. If it does, I would apply wax on the base and continuously rub it on another fabric which is a little more coarse in order to remove fabric stuck to the base.
The fabric at that time was mostly cotton. So I need water to be sprayed on the fabric to ensure an effective and faster ironing. Cotton has higher heat tolerant.
By the way, this iron is heavy. It is made from solid brass.