Electric Flatiron

Chrome-plated electric flatiron, with steam function. Triangular-shaped soleplate, curved, streamlined body. Horizontal handle, curved and molded black bakelite. Handle and upper portion of body are one piece of molded black bakelite, which lifts (red “OPEN” button) to reveal a circular hole in metal body, to pour water into lower cavity and produce steam. Fabric gauge is on top of body, molded plastic knob, burgandy. Attached metal plate on upper plastic body is printed: “KNAPP-MONARCH/STEAM KING/STEAM-R-DR/IIRON” with “KM” trademark. Power cord attaches to side of body, fabric cord, metal coil, black and gold cord, with black plastic plug, two-pronged. Extended heel rest, stamped/engraved: "V-115 A.C. ONLY W.1000/CAT.NO. 20-521A/2-55/KNAPP MONARCH CO.ST.LOUIS.U.S.A.”. Underside of soleplate has three openings for steam.
This iron is from the Hoover Company Sample collection, North Canton, Ohio, including samples by Knapp-Monarch Company, St. Louis (Missouri), which was bought by Hoover in 1969. It is noted: “Hoover Company Collection tag Sample 25383/Rec’d. Apr. 73/Model 20521A”; Knapp-Monarch tag, “MADE BY KM IN FEB. 1955”
Maker is the Knapp-Monarch Company, St. Louis, Missouri, founded in 1925 as A.S. Knapp and Company, not as a manufacturer, but to sell products. The company merged with manufacturer Monarch Company of Webster City, Iowa, in 1928. In 1969 the company was acquired by the Hoover Company.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1955
Knapp-Monarch Co.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
average spatial: 15 cm x 12.6 cm x 25 cm; 5 7/8 in x 4 15/16 in x 9 13/16 in
overall: 5 5/8 in x 5 in x 9 3/8 in; 14.2875 cm x 12.7 cm x 23.8125 cm
place made
United States: Missouri, Saint Louis
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of The Hoover Company
Additional Media

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