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Object Timeline

1944

  • Work on this object began.

1948

  • Work on this object ended.

2014

2015

2017

  • You found it!

Silver Streak Iron, ca. 1946

This is a iron. It was manufactured by Saunders Machine & Tool Corp. and Corning Glass Works. It is dated ca. 1946 and we acquired it in 2015. Its medium is molded and emulsion-painted pyrex glass, cast and nickel-plated steel, molded phenolic plastic resin and rubber, fabric (cord). It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Cooper Hewitt's extensive collection of irons represents a major portion of its industrial design collection. Not only do they connect , through their function, product design with the world of textiles, the advancement of the design relates to the technological possibilities of Pyrex glass. The metal shortages of World War II led to experiments with other materials, including Pyrex. Known to resist high heat since 1915, Pyrex was an excellent material for handles, to stay comfortable to the touch, and be comfortable when used. It could be molded to conform to the grip of the hand, an early example of ergonomics. The use of bright color, probably related to "fun"-bright red as well as the blue seen here created a distinctive look that turned out to be vulnerable to changes in taste, and the iron had a short-lived production. This streamlined and ergonomic model shows the post-war era concentration on enhancing designs for domestic life.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Iron, Meet Glass.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

Our curators have highlighted 12 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Sunbeam Mixmaster Mixer, ca. 1955
  • chrome-plated metal, molded glass, molded plastic.
  • Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisition Fund.
  • 1993-150-1-a/h

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 13.8 x 9.8 x 23 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/8 x 9 1/16 in.)

It has the following markings

Impressed on top side of metal heel: [in script] "Silver Streak" (2) Impressed on bottom side of metal heel: "SAUNDERS SINCE 1858 / MODEL 1038 / 1000 WATTS / 110-120 VOLTS A.C. ONLY" (3) Molded in Pyrex below handle: "PYREX"

Cite this object as

Silver Streak Iron, ca. 1946; Manufactured by Saunders Machine & Tool Corp. (United States); molded and emulsion-painted pyrex glass, cast and nickel-plated steel, molded phenolic plastic resin and rubber, fabric (cord); H x W x D: 13.8 x 9.8 x 23 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/8 x 9 1/16 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2015-5-12

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68814021/ |title=Silver Streak Iron, ca. 1946 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=17 August 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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