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"Silver Streak" Iron

Decorative Arts

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Although Pyrex glass, able to resist high levels of heat, had been invented as long ago as 1915, the Silver Streak iron put it to a new use. Metal shortages during World War II led to experiments not only with new materials, but also with new uses of old materials. Pyrex seemed the perfect replacement for metal in a household iron. Moreover, moldable glass allowed the handle of the Silver Streak to conform to the user’s hand, illustrating again the interest in ergonomics—the study of the way things work with the body—among designers of this time. Unfortunately, although Pyrex stood up well to heat, the bright colors inside did not, and the Silver Streak was not produced for very long.
MEDIUM Pyrex glass, metal, cloth and plastic
  • Place Manufactured: Yonkers, New York, United States
  • DATES ca. 1946
    DIMENSIONS 5 1/2 x 9 1/4 x 3 7/8 in. (14.0 x 23.5 x 9.9 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS (1) 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"
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1992.167
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Donald F. Wilkes
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Saunders Corporation (ca. 1858-1946). "Silver Streak" Iron, ca. 1946. Pyrex glass, metal, cloth and plastic, 5 1/2 x 9 1/4 x 3 7/8 in. (14.0 x 23.5 x 9.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Donald F. Wilkes, 1992.167. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.1992.167.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION "Silver Streak" electric iron; glass and metal. Molded Pyrex body, red cased with colorless glass. Colorless glass handle joined at both ends. Circular metal and plastic dial with fabric selection mounted on torso under handle. Black and white cloth covered cord and black plastic plug. CONDITION: Excellent; cord and plug intact. Light scratches on metal base and underside.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (84%)
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