The Ironrite Ironer Co., Detroit, MI Health Chair 1938-1940

  • Not on view

In 1911 the Ironrite Ironer Company began manufacturing electric ironing machines and marketing them to American housewives as the modern antidote to the drudgery of hand ironing. In the late 1930s it launched the Health Chair, which facilitated "a scientifically correct ironing posture," to complement its machines. World War II delayed mass production of the chair, but efforts to improve the efficiency of people operating under duress stimulated the development of a scientific and systematic analysis of the interface between the human body and the designed environment. When production resumed, Ironrite instructors, who provided free demonstrations at "ironing schools" and lessons at private homes, advocated the benefits of the Health Chair.

Gallery label from Designing Modern Women 1890–1990, October 5, 2013–October 1, 2014.
Manufactured by The Ironrite Ironer Co., Detroit, MI
Steel and lacquered plywood
26 1/4 x 17 1/8 x 19 1/2" (66.7 x 43.5 x 49.5 cm)
Gift of the manufacturer
Object number
Architecture and Design

Installation views

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