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Soldering Irons

An Electric soldering iron is typically on whenever it's plugged in. They usually take a few minutes to heat up and generally stay at a steady tempeture.

The earliest electric soldering irons were manufactured in the late 1800s.
1941 Sears Roebuck and Co. Radio Equipment Catalog Cover

General Electric Soldering Iron Type 1-12 Early General Electric Soldering Iron
Type 1-12
110 Volts, 2.5 Amps
This early electric soldering iron was manufactured by GE. The patent dates listed on the handle are Nov.7, 05 - June 18, 06 - May 10, 1910 - Dec. 5, 1911. Length from tip to end of the handle is 15 inches not including the cord strain relief. The tip is 6" long by 1.5" in diameter.
Larger Photo      Handle Photo

General Electric Soldering Iron with Stand General Electric Soldering Iron with GE Stand
This GE electric soldering iron has a unique spring loaded stand. The iron is 12 inches long and the stand is over 5 inches tall. The stand unlike most, has cooling fins and acts like a heat sink. It is spring loaded to tightly surround the tip and draw heat away.
Larger Photo     GE Stand     GE Iron

General Electric Soldering Iron
"The Monster"

This huge 1939 General Electric soldering iron model 6A113 is 18" long and the tip is two inches wide. At 10 pounds 15 ounces it's hard to hold with two hands. At 1,250 watts, this is by far the largest electric soldering iron I have in my collection or that I've ever seen.

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1939 GE Catalog Listing

1937 Supreme Instruments
Soldering Iron

Supreme Instruments Soldering Iron
Supreme Instruments Soldering Iron
This Supreme Instruments Soldering Iron was advertised in 1937 as the first "Pistol Grip" soldering iron specifically designed for radio repair. The heating element and tip angle was adjustable allowing the narrow six inch tip to access hard to reach areas of a radio chassis.

The Supreme soldering iron also incorporated a unique switch in the cord that allowed low (75 watts), medium (150 watts), and high (225 watts) settings. Several double ended tips were available that could easily be reversed.
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Larger Photo (opposite side)
Supreme Badge
3 Position Switch
1937 Announcement in Radio News
My Supreme Instruments Collection

American Beauty 3138 American Beauty 3138 Soldering Iron
110-120 Volts, 100 Watts
Manufactured by
The American Electrical Heater Co.,
Detroit USA
Larger Photo

American Beauty Brochure (no date):
Soldering Irons
Page 3
American Beauty 1947 Brochure (PDF file)

American Beauty 3158 American Beauty 3158 Soldering Iron
110-120 Volts, 200 Watts. This beast weighs in at around two pounds. Manufactured by the American Electrical Heater Co., Detroit USA.
This probably came from an industrial setting as it has a heavy duty custom made holder designed to hang on the side of a work bench.
Larger Photo w/stand
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American Beauty 1947 Brochure (PDF file)

Red Hot Soldering Iron "Red Hot" Electric Soldering Iron
The Red Hot soldering iron was sold by So-Lo Electrical Division, Cincinnati, Ohio around 1941. Ads for it appeared in several magazines before World War II.
Larger Photo w/Box

Duro Switch On Electric Soldering Iron Duro "Switch-On" Electric Soldering Iron
This Duro soldering iron Has an on/off switch built into the handle and interchangeable thread on tips.
Larger Photo w/Box
Handle and Switch

Flash Soldering Iron "Flash" Soldering Iron
Flash Soldering Irons were manufactured by the Baker-Phillips Co of Minneapolis in the 1940s. The "Flash" name might be derived from their ray-gun looks or maybe that they just heat quick. This Flash model 75 is 75 watts and has no trigger so it's always on when it's plugged in.

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1946 Flash Soldering Ad

Sunbeam X50 Electric Soldering Iron Sunbeam X50 Electric Dehorning/Soldering Iron
This Sunbeam X50 Dehorning/soldering iron is 11 inches from the tip to the end of the handle.
It is 265 watts. Used to dehorn farm animals or solder. It has a slide switch marked "S" and "D" behind the tip to switch from dehorning to soldering. I don't have a dehorn tip for it.
The tip removes quickly and is held in place by a spring clip (see photo). I'm guessing it's from the late 1950s or early 60s.
Larger Photo
Removable Tip/clip
Name Plate
Instructions (similar model)

Montgomery Ward 84-6035 Wards 84-6035 Soldering Iron
120 Volts, 100 Watts
Manufactured for Montgomery Ward by Drake Electric Works, Chicago USA
Larger Photo

Weller Magnastat Soldering Iron
Magnastat 1961 Ad      Magnastat Patent
Weller Magnastat TC552 Soldering Iron

In 1958 Carl Weller applied for a patent on his idea to control iron tip temperature through the use of a temperature sensitive magnetic tip. Up to that point Soldering Iron manufacturers utilized large massive bodies to dissipate heat in an attempt to control tip temperature. This method was inefficient at best.
Weller was granted patent # 2,951,927 for magnetic temperature control in September of 1960. This model TC552 Magnastat soldering iron is 55 watts. It was sold cordless and you purchased a standard two prong or a grounded three prong AC cord separately. This box includes a 5DN1 600 degree tip and a 5CN1 700 degree tip.
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Larger Photo w/ Tips
Magnastat 1961 Ad
Patent # 2,951,927 (PDF file)
My Weller Collection

Weller TC 40 Soldering Iron Weller TC 40 Soldering Iron

This Weller iron is 40 watts and has a magnetic temperature tip. The iron is only 8.5" long but the 3 prong cord is 5' 8" long.
Larger Photo

Lenk Soldering Iron 1951 Lenk Soldering Iron
Manufactured by LENK, Newton Mass.
Although known for its blow torches, this pistol grip soldering iron was manufactured by LENK, of Newton Mass.
(not Wall Lenk located in Penn.)
Notice the unique heat dissipating stand off between the barrel and handle.

Larger Photo
1951 Ad
Good Soldering Instructions

Lenk Pistol Grip Soldering Set Lenk # 375 Pistol Grip Soldering Set
Manufactured by Lenk Mfg. Company, Franklin Kentucky
Hardware Store price sticker on the box shows $3.89 as the cost.
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Box Photo

Lenk TL 606A/U soldering Iron Lenk TL 606A/U soldering Iron
Small 20 watt soldering iron Manufactured by Lenk Mfg. Company, Boston Mass.
Most likely from the late 1940s or 1950s.

Larger Photo

Lenk 560 soldering Iron
Lenk 560 Soldering Iron
Lenk 560 soldering Iron
This 65 watt soldering iron Manufactured by Lenk Mfg. Company, Boston Mass. is oddly shaped. The body is square but the tip protrudes on an angle. It uses the oddly shaped GE 223 bulb which looks like it's been squashed into a mushroom shape where many soldering guns use the more familiar GE 222 bulb.
The on switch is momentary like a soldering gun trigger switch so you have to keep your thumb on it during operation.
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Lenk TL 606A/U soldering Iron Lenk 675-1 soldering Iron
75 watt soldering iron Manufactured by Lenk Mfg. Company, Boston Mass.

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Reinhard-McCabe Glow Point Soldering Iron Glow Point Soldering Iron
This "Glow Point" Soldering Iron hooked directly to a car or truck battery to heat. You put the large clip on one battery terminal and touched the point to the other until you saw the red glow through the hole on the side of the tip. Manufactured by Reinhard-McCabe Co., Minneapolis, Minnesota. Iron is 12" long and the cord is 24".
The original instruction tag is still on attached to the cord. I'm not trying it to see if it still works.
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Craftsman 5383 Soldering Iron Craftsman 5383
The Craftsman model 5383, 200 watt Soldering Iron is 13 ½ inches long.

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Solder Master 310B Solder Master 310B
One word describes this soldering iron, HUGE. This Solder Master 310B is 300 watts. It is the third longest electric soldering iron in my collection at 14". It weighs in at over two pounds and was manufactured by the Hexacon Electric Co., Roselle Park, New Jersey.

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Unknown Soldering Iron
Unknown Soldering Iron
No marking anywhere on this one. The tip flexes as it's mounted in the spring. It also has a unique handle. It's about twelve inches long.
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Drake 350 Drake Model 310
Get ready for blast off. I saw this little Drake model 310 soldering iron and knew I wanted it for my collection. I don't know the manufacturing date but it looks like it's out of the 1950s. Manufactured by Drake Electrical Works, Chicago. It's 35 watts and only 9 inches long.
Larger Photo

Drake Model 800
Drake 800 Soldering Iron
The Model 800 is a 200 watt monster manufactured by Drake Electrical Works, Chicago.
Coming in at #2 for length in my collection, it's over 15 inches long.

Self-Feeding Electric Soldering Irons
Also see Self-Feeding Soldering Guns and Attachments

Skil 340 Self-Feeding Soldering Gun Skil 340 Self-Feeding Soldering Gun
This rather unique Skil soldering iron sold in the late 1960s is shaped like a gun but the trigger actually feeds solder to the tip. The iron takes a few minutes to heat up and is on as long as it's plugged in. Solder is dispensed from a roll on the back of the gun through a tube. Pulling the trigger pushes the solder to the tip. The knurled knob on the side adjusts the amount of solder fed when the trigger is pulled.
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Blixt One-Hand Operated Soldering Gun Blixt One-Hand Operated Soldering Gun
The Blixt automatic feeding soldering gun was manufactured in Sweden by AB Interma and sold in the U. S. by Porta Power around 1964. Suggested price was $16.95. The solder was stored in a spool in the handle and the trigger fed the solder to the tip. Tips could be easily changed by pushing the spring loaded button at the top.
Larger Photo
Open For Loading
1964 Ad

Self-Feeding Soldering Iron Unknown Self-Feeding Soldering Iron
This Self-Feeding Soldering Iron's label is missing so I don't know who manufactured it. Pulling the trigger pushes the solder to the tip. The label on the other side of the Bakelite handle says it's type 51A and is 60 watts.
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It's A Wonder Soldering Iron "It's A Wonder" - Advertisement
Here is an ad from Popular Science's January 1927 issue offering the early "It's A Wonder" press-to-feed electric soldering iron manufactured by the Illinois Stamping & Mfg. Co. of Chicago. Notice the horn radio speaker in the lower drawing.

You too can make big profits selling the "It's A Wonder" press-to-feed electric soldering iron.

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