Iron, Asbestos Sad Iron; Tverdahl-Johnson Company; 1890-1920; WY.1991.41


Iron, Asbestos Sad Iron

About this object

This is an Asbestos Sad Iron which has three cores and one detachable cover and handle.

The key feature of the asbestos sad iron is its detachable handle and cover. The cover was originally lined with asbestos, which enabled the core to hold its heat for longer, thereby reducing how often the core needed to be reheated and enabling each core to be designed for best results on a specific fabrics. The asbestos in conjunction with the wood insulated handle also ensured the handle remained relatively cool and was able to be handled without the need for a rag, glove or other pad of material.

During the 1900s, the Dover Manufacturer Company claimed this technology meant the handles on their irons remained "15 degree cooler than blood temperature". This company likely manufactured this iron, however, they were originally named the Tverdahl-Johnson Company and were located in Wisconsin, but re-branded when they relocated to Canal Dover, Ohio, USA.

By 1920 asbestos sad irons had fallen out of favour in America, however, they continued to be exported to New Zealand.

The use of the word 'sad' within the name of these irons refers to their solid nature and was often used as an alternative to the name flatiron.


Tverdahl-Johnson Company

Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made

North and Central America, United States

Medium and Materials

inorganic, processed material, metal, iron
organic, processed material, vegetal, wood
inorganic, processed material, mineral, asbestos

Inscription and Marks

See parts


See parts

Subject and Association Keywords

Domestic Life (household chattels, food and drink)

Object Type


Object number



Attribution (cc) Attribution (cc)

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