Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!

Thayer’s Universal Tool

PAT. MAY 24, 81 is inscribed on the left side of the tool.

BY W. H. THAYER is inscribed on the right side.

Both inscriptions show wear but are still legible.

This small hand-held tool is as popular with cast iron, tool and gadget collectors as it is with trivet collectors! It was patented on May 24, 1881 by William Henry Thayer of Cleveland, Ohio. Very versatile, it served many purposes … among them trivet, pressing iron or coffee pot stand, stove lid lifter, meat tenderizer, and pie-plate lifter.

● Cast iron, 5 1/2″ x 4″, no feet, 10 ounces.

● Patent was applied for on December 22, 1880.

● US Patent # 241,893 was assigned on May 24, 1881.

Quoted from Thayer’s patent description:

The object of my invention is to produce a simple, cheap, and efficient implement for kitchen use, by which the various utensils therein employed may be readily lifted, carried, and manipulated as desired, and which shall be otherwise useful.

By providing the implement with fingerholes the user is enabled to hold it in any position desired without danger of slipping or turning in the hand.

The patent application and full specifications for this tool can be accessed at Google Patents: Patent 241,893. Here’s the patent illustration.

In his patent application Thayer called this the “Universal Tool”. However, take a look at this image on Worthpoint of an instruction sheet illustrating the varied uses for “Thayer’s Household Combination.” I’ve been searching the Internet but haven’t yet discovered another instruction sheet, a print advertisement, or a Victorian trade card featuring this Thayer tool. Please share if you have any of this information. Thanks in advance!

2 comments on “Thayer’s Universal Tool

  1. Jeanette Lewis
    June 9, 2018

    Although I’m not a collector, I enjoy the information you provide in your posts. You’ve inspired me to take a second look at trivets when visiting flea markets. The description of uses for Thayer’s patent makes me wonder which kitchen and household items commonly found in our 21st Century homes will stand the test of time. I fear we are too much in love with single-use items, plastic gadgets, and digitized appliances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn Rosack
      June 10, 2018

      Agreed; convenience and novelty define much of what we purchase today. But … every kitchen needs at least one interesting old cast iron or brass trivet for good karma! So if you ever spot one that calls to you, buy it and bring it home. ✩ Caution: that’s how many trivet collections begin.


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This entry was posted on June 1, 2018 by in Go-Withs and tagged , , , .

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Renningers Extravaganza in Mt Dora, Florida is a great place to find laundry day collectibles! There are three upcoming events: November 16, 17 & 18, 2018; January 18, 19 & 20, 2019; and February 15, 16 & 17, 2019.

The 2019 PITCA Convention will be held Friday, August 2nd and Saturday, August 3rd, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

JOIN PITCA! Membership in Pressing Iron and Trivet Collectors of America provides the opportunity to learn more about trivets, irons and other laundry collectibles while networking with others with similar interests.


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