Sunday, November 9, 2014


As we know, Toaster is a home appliance used to toast bread in order to make it crunchier, tastier and suitable for spreading butter or jam for breakfast. 

But this question can arise in anybody’s mind that how it was invented and what was the need in our past that created such device. Today let us have a view over the creation of toaster and how it get a place in our kitchens.

As we know it today Bread was likely invented in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians learned that if they left dough rest out for a while, it would rise. When baked, the bread would retain its risen shape.

 The closed oven was invented in Egypt for the baking of leavened breads by 3000 B.C., There was just one problem, if bread was left out in the desert heat for long periods of time, it would go hard and became difficult to eat.

The best way to preserve the bread was none other than ‘toasting’ it which is a method of prolonging the life of bread by scorching slices of bread.

The word “toast” actually comes from the Latin word “tostum,” which means “to burn or scorch.”

 The first breads were supposed to be toasted by putting them in front of the fire on a hot stone. Later, simple devices were made to toast bread in the fire, such as wire frames to cook the toast more evenly.

 The first electric toaster was invented in 1893 by Scotsman Alan MacMasters, but it wasn’t very popular. The iron wiring would often melt, creating a fire hazard. 

Because the surface of toast needs to be heated to temperatures above 310 degrees Fahrenheit, Electric toasters must contain wires with the ability to reach very high temperatures without being damaged or starting a fire.
Antique Toasters array

In 1905, an engineer named Albert Marsh discovered that an alloy of nickel and chromium, known as Nichrome, had the properties to withstand a high temperature and is fire resistant too.

In July, 1909, Frank Shailor of General Electric submitted his patent application for the D-12, considered the first commercially successful electric toaster.
Antique Toaster from 1909

Several different electric toasters were also invented around the same time. But it only toasted one side of the bread at a time and it required a person to stand by and turn it off manually when the toast cooked on.

Lloyd Copeman and his wife, Hazel were issued five toaster related patents during 1914 to find a way to turn the toast itself without manual help or we can say an ‘Automatic’ toaster.

Many companies who wished to produce electric toasters were forced to pay royalties to Copeman or find a different way to “turn the toast”. Some swung the toast around in little baskets. Another toaster carried the bread past the heating elements on a little conveyer belt, toasting it as it traveled along.
early Electric Toaster

During World War I, Charles Strite, a master mechanic in a plant in Stillwater, Minnesota tired of eating burnt toast served in the company cafeteria. 

He solved the problem of continuous human attention on toaster by using springs and a variable timer. He filed the patent for his pop-up toaster on May 29, 1919. 

Charles P. Strite, born in Minneapolis, MN, received patent on October 18, 1921 for the bread-toaster. 

That same year Strite formed the ‘Waters Genter Company’ to manufacture toaster and market it to restaurants. Strite looked after the production of first 100 hand-assembled toasters getting financial support from friends, which were shipped to the Childs restaurant chain. 
Pop up toaster

The next major breakthrough for the toaster came in 1928. 

Prior to then, the bread used to be sold in loaves on bakeries. But Otto Frederick Rohwedder, an inventor, created the presliced-loaf and sealed-bag process. 

The Continental Baking Company introduced sliced Wonder Bread in 1930. Sales were slow at first as consumers were slow to accept a pre-sliced bread, but convenience overruled apprehension and soon everyone wanted sliced Wonder Bread on their dinner table.

By 1933, American bakeries were turning out more sliced bread than unsliced bread. This gave a boost to another new invention.

 Charles Strite's spring-loaded, automatic, pop-up toaster which was not so popular , with Rohwedder's standardized slices on the market, suddenly made sense. The automatic (pop-up) toaster becomes a standard in American households

Many homes today have toasters that are not very different from the toasters that Charles Strite produced in1926.

 By the 1960's, the toaster was common enough and cheap enough that every middle class family in America afford this. 
Toaster now-a-days

By the 1980's the slots of toasters grew, enabling bagels and wider bread to be toasted. Additionally, heat-resistant plastic and microchip controls were used in the making of the toaster, making it even more convenient and efficient for future purposes.


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