"Steam-O-Matic" Electric Iron

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Electric iron. Heavy molded metal body (A), planished surface texture, temperature setting on top, metal panel printed with settings: “Selectrol/ON/LOW/RAYON/SILK/WOOL/COTTON/LINEN/HIGH/OFF”, molded plastic knob, black, debossed in white: “FAST/MEDIUM/SLOW”. Molded plastic handle, black, at top. Detachable electric cord (D) attaches at back, plastic plug, black, molded, with “ON/OFF” switch and “PEER/U.S.A.” logo and “5A.-250V./UND.LAB.INSP./10A-125V.” embossed on side, fabric-covered cord, two-prong plug, embossed with “CORNISH” logo. Winged metal knob (B) on body closes hole to add water for steam, poured through molded plastic funnel, black, (C), embossed with “STEAM-O-MATIC/WAVERLY TOOL CO”. Accompanying instruction manual (E), which notes that the original price for the iron was $18.95.
Attached metal tag on back of iron, red background, silver lettering: “STEAM-O-MATIC/U.S. PATENTS:2,178,512-2,279,179-2,338,739-OTHER PATS. PENDING/WATTS 1000 A.C. CURRENT ONLY VOLTS 120/SERIAL NO. 628947 MODEL B-300/MFD. BY WAVERLY PRODUCTS INC./SANDUSKY, OHIO BRIDGEPORT, CONN.”
2,178,512, October 31, 1939, Edward P. Schreyer, for “Electric iron and dampener”
2,279,179, April 7, 1942, Edward P. Schreyer, for “Electric iron and dampener”
2,338,739, Jan 11, 1944, Edward P. Schreyer, for “Steam iron”
Introduced in 1939 and marketed by the Steam-O-Matic Corporation, this iron is the first steam iron listed by Underwriters Laboratories. The streamlined body mimics that of a ship, demonstrating how influential modern architecture and transportation was on all aspects of design, including household appliances.
Maker is Waverly Products, Inc., originally founded as Rival Manufacturing Company in 1932, manufacturing small appliances in the U.S. under various names (Bionaire, Crock-Pot, Patton, Rival, to name a few). They became a subsidiary of Holmes Products Corporation in 1999, and are now a brand of Sunbeam products (a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, which purchased Holmes Products Corp. in 2005).
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1947
place made
United States: Ohio, Sandusky
United States: Connecticut, Bridgeport
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (handle material)
fabric (cord material)
overall, body: 6 1/4 in x 10 3/4 in x 4 3/4 in; 15.875 cm x 27.305 cm x 12.065 cm
overall, cord, coiled: 1 7/8 in x 8 in x 3 3/4 in; 4.7625 cm x 20.32 cm x 9.525 cm
overall, funnel: 1 3/4 in x 1 5/8 in; 4.445 cm x 4.1275 cm
overall, booklet: 2 5/8 in x 3 3/4 in; 6.6675 cm x 9.525 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Anonymous Gift
Daily Life
Household Tools and Equipment
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


The company name "Titeflex" also appears on the iron. How does this company fit in with the other manufacturers?

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