Sad Iron; Tverdahl-Johnson Company; 1890-1920; RX.1997.33E


Sad Iron

About this object

The Sad Iron used to have asbestos under the handle, inside a cover that fitted over the heated core. This was to prevent the heat from rising up to the woman’s hand. It also kept the iron hot longer.
Under the handle is a lever that when moved to the middle position unlocked the outer cover to enable the solid steel core to be changed. The cores were changed as they were designed for various uses; flounces, sleeves, polishing and pressing.
The probable manufacturer was the Tverdahl-Johnson Company of Wisconsin, USA. The company later moved to Canal Dover, Ohio and became the Dover Manufacturing Company. Irons of this type were fading in popularity in the USA by 1920 although they were still being exported to New Zealand.
A Sad Iron is an alternative name for a Flat Iron: in this context "sad" means "solid" which suggests a weighty iron with a thick base.


Tverdahl-Johnson Company

Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made

North and Central America, United States, Ohio, Tuscarawas County, Canal Dover

Medium and Materials

processed material, steel
organic, vegetal, wood


h: 135mm x l: 180mm d: 100mm
weight: 2.5kg

Object Type

laundry irons

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from

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