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Hotpoint Electric Iron
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Hotpoint Electric Iron

Carroll Gantz
Richardson, Earl H.
Hotpoint Electric Iron

This electric iron, introduced to the market in 1905 by Earl H. Richardson, arranged the heating elements in a way which concentrated the heat at the forward point of the soleplate, to better iron buttonholes and pleated materials. Customers loved the "hot point" on the iron. Richardson, as a meter reader at the Ontario (California) Power Company in 1903, had developed an electric iron and distributed a number of free samples to customers. But ironing was always done on Tuesdays (Monday was wash day), and at that time, power was only provided at night, for lighting. Richardson reasoned that sales of electric appliances could only succeed with the cooperation of power companies, so he convinced his employer to generate electricity all day on Tuesdays, so his irons could be used. The 1905 iron with the "hot point" became the first commercially successful electric laundry iron, and was formally named the Hotpoint iron in 1907. In 1912, the company itself was named the Hotpoint Electric Heating Company. In 1918, the Hotpoint company merged with the Hughes Electric Heating Company (See Hughes Electric Range, 1910) and the heating device section of General Electric, to form the Edison Electric Appliance Company, with Hughes as president. The new company produced Hotpoint brand name products, first the iron, and in 1919, the first Hotpoint electric range. In 1931, the Edison Electric Appliance Company became the Edison General Electric Company, and in 1934, the Hotpoint brand name was integrated into General Electric production.

100 Years of Design consists of excerpts from a book by Carroll M. Gantz, FIDSA, entitled, Design Chronicles: Significant Mass-produced Designs of the 20th Century, published August 2005 by Schiffer Publications, Ltd.
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