Iron, Liquid Fuel ; The International Harvester Company; 1902-1920; WY.0000.1373


Iron, Liquid Fuel

About this object

This is a double pointedl liquid fuel iron. The stainless steel spherical device on the back of the iron holds the fuel used to heat the iron. When the fuel was turned on, a match would be used to light a flame inside the center of the iron, which subsequently heated the base and maintained a relatively even temperature. This removed the need to constantly reheat the iron on a stove or flame, as had been required with its predecessors.

Different models used different types of fuel, ranging from kerosene to whale oil and often produced pungent smells. However, this was a small sacrifice in comparison to constantly running back and forth to the stove for a hot iron.

Early versions of this type of iron required the user to plug their iron into a pipe connected to a gas canister, however, designs with their own fuel tanks soon emerged and reduced the risk of the pipe accidentally being pulled out. This model was likely manufactured by The International Harvester Company, which was founded in Chicago in 1902 as a result of the McCormick Havesting Machine Company and the Deering Harvester Company merging. While the company predominantly produced agricultural equipment, they also dabbled in home appliances such as this.


The International Harvester Company

Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made

North and Central America, United States, Chicago

Medium and Materials

inorganic, processed material, metal, iron
inorganic, processed material, metal, stainless steel
organic, processed material, vegetal, wood

Inscription and Marks

On the lid the phrase 'INTERNATIONAL' is embossed on one side of the handle in a slightly curved line, inside an indentation which is of the same shape. The other side of the handle has the phrase 'CHICAGO USA' embossed inside an identical indentation.


h 170 mm x w 105 mm x d 230 mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Domestic Life (household chattels, food and drink)

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

Attribution (cc) Attribution (cc)

This object is from

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