Saturday, May 7, 2011

Electricity before Steam

From the archives of All things Ironing - H.W. Seely.

Before the Steam Iron came the Electric Iron.

Born in Richville, Kentucky, on July 2nd, 1854 Henry W. Seely invented and patented the first electric pressing iron on the 6th of June in the year 1882. The invention was named as the “electric flatiron.”


Although it is the only invention Seely patented, he witnessed many of Thomas Edison's inventions, including the light bulb.

Unlike current models, the first irons manufactured, used a carbon arc to create the heat needed by passing a current across carbon arc electrodes.
  A carbon arc to create heat. It even looks dangerous.
Can you imagine the WorkCare premiums?
Electrical resistance used to heat the soleplate.
First irons with a thermostat to regulate the temperature.
E.P.Schreyer patents the iron steam chamber.

The credit for the invention of the steam iron however, goes to Thomas Sears in the early 1950's.