Early Electric Toasters
Back to Home Page

Electric Toasters Made in the U.S.A.
during the 1920s and earlier

Home. . 1920s. . 1930s. . 1940s & later. . Non electric. . 220 Volt. .
Waffle Irons. . Egg Cookers. . Other. .FAQ. . Links. .

Historic electric toaster from Detroit

Early Toaster from Detroit

According to the book by Charles P. Fisher Early American Electric Toasters, in March, 1905, George Schneider invents a practical if complicated, enclosed toaster specifying "suitable resistance wire", probably referring to the alloy invented by Albert Marsh. The patent is assigned to American Electrical Heater Co. of Detroit. I've owned a very early model which is very scary looking.

This one is a later model which has loop door handles and enameled wood feet. The core of the heating element is made up of a mica plate wound with very broad ribbon resistance wire, enclosed in more mica, and then enclosed in waffled sheet metal secured with rivets. I've tested this one and it actually makes pretty good toast, more evenly toasted than most toasters.

The base bears the company's signature triangle badge. While there is no damage overall, the nickel plating is pitted and steel parts are showing rust, so this one is not in prime condition. But it still works!

American Electrical Heater Co.
Detroit U.S.A.


Purchase Information

The American Beauty Toaster

This American Beauty electric toaster is a later model from the company, this one with snake-laced heating coil and enameled wood door handles and feet. In profile, the design looks sculptural. The base bears the company's triangle name badge.

The chrome plating on this one is in very good condition. It comes with a detachable cord set.

The American Beauty Toaster
The American Electrical Heater Co.
Detroit, U.S.A.


Purchase Information
Early electric toaster made in Detroit, U.S.A.

1920s Excelsior Twin Reversible Toaster

The Excelsior Twin Reversible Toaster

In the early 1920s, in the town of New Washington, Ohio, a small factory made this marvelous toaster and a couple of small waffle irons.

Before toasters became "automatic", this very clever design is operated by the crank handle mounted on the top. Turn the crank handle and both slices of bread flip to toast the opposite side.

It sports a wonderful name badge on one end, and accepts a detachable cord set on the other end. You can see the crank operating on my You Tube channel. Just search for Toaster Central.

This one is in very good condition and is capable of occasionally making the morning toast. It is too finely made for heavy use. It comes with detachable cord set.

The Excelsior Twin Reversible Toaster
Perfection Electric Products Co.
New Washington, Ohio
100-115 Volts 4.7 Amps

Shipping weight: 5 Lbs.


Purchase Information

The Sturdy RIMCO Toaster

The company that made this toaster got a nice write up in Bill George's book on appliance history. This Rock Island company was founded as a tool company in 1907, became the Rock Island Manufacturing Company in 1910, with a factory at 1st Street and 15th Avenue, later growing to a factory on twelve acres along the banks of the Mississippi River.

This is a sturdy piece of equipment with a very heavy cast steel base. The door design is straight forward with three large diamonds and four small circles. No frou-frou here.

It is remarkable for having an On/Off switch mounted on the base, not a common feature in the United States, but very sensible. And, it has a distinctive, snappy cord. and turned wood door handles, and a great name badge..

This one shows overall wear and the inside of the doors, especially at the top, show deterioration. It comes with the original carton in ratty condition. Note that the "automatic" in the name on the carton, it ain't. The only thing automatic is the flipping of the slice by opening and closing the door.

The Sturdy RIMCO Toaster
Rock Island Mfg. Co.
Rock Island, Ill. U.S.A.
110 Volts 404 Watts

Shipping weight: 7 Lbs.


Purchase Information
Made in Rock Island, Illinois

The Aristocrat of the Breakfast Table

Westinghouse Turnover Toaster

Westinghouse sold many, many toasters with this and similar designs. This one has punched fiber door handles, nickel plating, and fiber feet. The innards are the familiar mica plates wound with flat resistance wire. And yes, it will flip the slice to the opposite side just by opening and closing the door.

This one comes with an original carton proclaiming "The Aristocrat of the Breakfast Table." The carton is in fair condition, with two carton flaps loose. A detachable cord set is included. It makes a splendid gift for the history buff or toaster collector.

Westinghouse Turnover Toaster
Volts 110 Watts 550
Westinghouse Elec. & Manufacturing Company
Mansfield Works, Mansfield, Ohio U.S.A.

Shipping weight: 4 Lbs.


Purchase Information

A Westinghouse Turnover Toaster with Etched Doors

Westinghouse had been making electric toasters since the teens with the same basic design, but departed into more refined expressions of style in the 1920s, modern as a flapper beads, The Charleston, and bobbed hair and the new Studebaker to haul you off to the local speakeasy. Or church.

The toaster is in excellent condition, plated in nickel with punched fiber handles and fiber feet. The doors show a teriffic design that is etched into the nickel plating. The toaster comes with a detachable cord set that plugs into the side.

A Westinghouse Turnover Toaster with Etched Doors
Westinghouse Elec. Manufacturing Company Mansfield Works, Mansfield, Ohio U.S.A. 115 Volts 550 Watts

Shipping weight: 5 lbs.


Purchase Information
Beautiful etched design in the nickel plating

Advertised in Good Housekeeping in 1923

The Star-rite Reversible Toaster

A very popular a a gift in 1924 when this toaster was on the market in 1924, the film Greed directed by Eric von Stroheim was on the big screen, starring Zasu Pitts, who might have been driving the new Studebaker.

The Fitzgerald Manufacturing Co. in Torrington, Connecticut made this sparkling Super Toaster. That company was a purveyor of Electrical Necessities among other things.

This model earned its name by virtue of its cages which are mounted on a spring loaded arms that allows the slice to be turned to the other side by the twist of the knob on top. It plugs in beneath one door.

This one is in very good condition with plating loss on the cages and a small chip on one of the pilgrim hat knobs. It comes with a detachable cord set.

Star-rite Reversible Toaster
Fitzgerald Mfg. Co.
Torrington, Conn. U.S.A.

Shipping weight: 7 Lbs.


Purchase Information

The First Pop-up Toaster

This is the first automatic pop-up toaster which cooks both sides of one slice at once, then stops automatically and raises the toasted slice. No turning or burning.

It became a popular product when it hit the home market in 1926 as The Toastmaster, deemed one of the greatest all-time inventions according to American Heritage. The device was patented by Charles Perkins Strite in Stillwater, Minnesota which paired a clockworks timer and set of carbon contacts together with heating elements and a spring-loaded pop-up mechanism.

This toaster has two control levers: one pushes down to wind a spring that operates the clockwork mechanism, and the other lever lowers the bread and starts the current. In addition, there is a spring-loaded stop below the right lever to set the shade of darkness, and a small lever in between the two big levers to pop the toast up before the end of the cycle.

This one is clean and working with a new cord but the nickel plating is in rough shape, with spots of corrosion on the base. It comes with a facsimile of the operating instructions.

The First Pop-up Toaster
Produced from June 1926 to August 1930
by Waters-Genter Co. Minneapolis, U.S.A.
110 Volts 600 Watts


Purchase Information
The first automatic pop-up toaster
Rob in Modesto bought this model toaster (and a waffle iron) and wrote to say "I ship and receive vintage glow in the dark radios and the first indication I get of quality restoration is the care in the post and packing. Thanks for the outstanding wrapping and packaging of the waffle iron and toaster! The included magazine adds and operating instructions were a gracious addition. Apparently many vintage electrical appliances of the early twentieth century in original operating condition work splendidly and look elegant. These certainly do!"

Milwaukee history

Toaster from Milwaukee

Most remarkable for its formal design and clean lines, this toaster was made in Milwaukee by a company co-founded by a German immigrant, Albert J. Lindemann. According to Bill George's book, the company occupied a five-story factory at 189-191 Hanover Street and by the late 1890s employed 200 people manufacturing coal and wood fired cook stoves. Later, he was a founder of the Milwaukee Trade School, and served for years as a board member and President of the Milwaukee School Board.

By the 1920s, the business covered four blocks along Cleveland Avenue with a plant of ten acres and 1,000 workers. I suspect this toaster was made in the late 1920s in that factory.

Drawn from one piece of steel, the base is nicely signed. And the only other concession to a decorative element is a raised panel on each side.

This one is in very good condition; it shows a little more wear inside one door and less on the other. It comes with a detachable cord set. We also have the marvelous waffle iron by L&H.

L&H Electrics Toaster Volts 110-120 Watts 550
A. J. Lindemann & Hoverson Co.
Milwaukee, Wis. U.S.A.


Purchase Information

Early Toaster with Rack Mounted On Top

Electric toasters had been around for less than a generation when this electric toaster was made in New Britain, Connecticut, by a company known for its high quality cutlery, hotel and hospital ware, and really beautiful early electric appliances.

The detachable cord plugs into the center of the base. The two doors are spring-loaded to clamp the bread against the guide wires and efficiently close to the heat to toast one side of each slice. Then you have to open the door, flip the slice to the other side and finish the toasting. This toaster has the deluxe feature of a built-in toast rack which keeps the finished toast warm while you are making more.

This toaster is in excellent condition with some slight wear to the plating on the rack. It comes with a detachable cord set. This is one of the few toasters that will handle half a bagel, assuming you want only the cut side toasted.

Early Toaster with Rack Mounted On Top
Universal The Brand Name Known In Every Home
New Britain Conn. U.S.A.

Shipping weight 6 Lbs.


Purchase Information
Toast rack mounted on top of the toaster.

AP in Lisbon, Connecticut bought a toaster like this one and wrote to say just a note to let you know that the toaster is perfect! I love it. Best regards

Home. . 1920s. . 1930s. . 1940s & later. . Non electric. . 220 Volt. .
Waffle Irons. . Egg Cookers. . Other. .FAQ. . Links. .

Contents © 1999-2017 MichaelSheafe