Nov 082013
 

mixmaster green glass

After watching a baker laboriously stir a large quantity of dough with a metal spoon, Herbert Johnson, an engineer for the Hobart Manufacturing Company in Ohio, invented the first standing mixer in 1908. By 1915 Johnson’s 80-quart mixer was in use by commercial bakeries and on U.S. Naval ships.

In 1918 Hobart executives and spouses started to test smaller home models. One spouse remarked, “I don’t care what you call it. All I know is it’s the best kitchen aid I’ve ever had.”

Aimed at home bread bakers, the first 5-quart KitchenAid “food preparer” stand mixer weighed 65 pounds and sold for $189.00 in 1919, more than $2,000 today. In 1930, rival Sunbeam introduced the MixMaster, designed by Ivar Jepson, at a fraction of KitchenAid’s weight and price at $18.25 ($250 today).

In 1936, Egmont Ahrens refined KitchenAid’s now patented Streamline bullet-shape design and the price was chopped to $55. Sunbeam launched its first hand-held mixer in 1952.

  •  November 8, 2013
Nov 082013
 

vintage rolling pin

Baking pans have “progressed” from heavy cast iron to aluminum, to silicone, and to cast iron again. We use them for baking everything from birthday cakes to three-tiered wedding cakes to cornbread in corncob shapes. Cookie molds and cutters, cake pans and muffin tins have all been made in every imaginable shape, even Star Wars figures.

Rolling pins have also moved from stone and marble to wood and plastic, for those who still use them.

  •  November 8, 2013
Nov 082013
 

ladles spatulas vintage
Those who remember Gabby Hayes playing the chuck wagon cook in Roy Rogers movies, or as sidekick to Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy in old western films might recognize the oldest set of ladles, which is actually from 19th-century England and a gift from the Kitty MacKay Collection. Older ladles represent a way of life when big pots of stews and soups typically sustained whole families, as they still do in many regions and countries.

Handles of ladles and spatulas were originally made from iron and other metals, then wood, painted wood—usually green or red—plastic, silicone, and back to wood as seen here in the handmade spatula crafted by Justin Frese, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Sonoma Valley Unified School District.

  •  November 8, 2013
Nov 082013
 

quiky tart tangy vintage sign
Quiky Tart & Tangy grapefruit soda was made in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the 1950s, simultaneous with Herb Bishop’s Squirt from the 1930s through 1950s. We know who won that match. Squirt eventually sold to Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group and then to its current owner, Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group.

  •  November 8, 2013
Nov 082013
 

watkins better baking

Once upon a time there was no radio or television. Hence, there were no radio or television commercials. What there were, were boldly designed, and brightly colored, metal-and-porcelain signs advertising everything from soup to nuts.

Country store walls, drug store counters, and sides of buildings and barns once hung heavy with beacons of Del Monte, Morton Salt, Wonder bread, Campbell’s Soup Company, Sunkist, Nehi, Orange Crush, and Planters. Cherubic rosy cheeks characterized the Uneeda Biscuit Boy, while depictions of Native Americans were and still are used to advertise Land O’ Lakes butter and Calumet baking powder.

The importance and proliferation of cleverly symbolic food signs has all but diminished in our electronic and digital age, yet iconic characters like Mr. Peanut and the Morton Salt Girl live happily ever after on television and the internet.

  •  November 8, 2013