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Electric Toasters Made in the U.S.A.
during the Roaring Twenties and earlier

Home. . 1920s. . 1930s. . 1940s & later. . Non electric. . 220 Volt. .
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Hold Heet by Russell Electric

This toaster was listed in a wholesale catalog for $4.20 or $4.00 by the half dozen. I found an ad in 1919 issue of Popular Science for a flat table stove from this same company, and later toasters branded Hold Heet with solid doors, flipping cages, and many electrical products including heating pads, electric blankets, immersion heaters, table stoves and marcel irons.

The Russell Electric Company produced one of the first electric waffle irons on the American market, about the same time as this toaster, using drug stores as their sales outlets rather than department stores, according to the book Antique Electric Waffle Irons.

This toaster is as simple and plain as can be. The doors are hinged at the bottom and spring loaded. The appeal is historical rather that practical, even though it is still working. The best part is the decal label on the side of the base.

Hold Heet by Russell Electric


Purchase Information
Hold Heet from Chicago 1920

Each cage pivots 180 degrees

Universal U-Polish

This is one of my favorite toasters both to work on because of the elegant construction, and to sell because of the marvelous mechanism that allows you to turn each cage to toast two sides of the slice without handling the bread. Cages measure 4.25 inches square and just shy of an inch wide.

An early 1920s catalog page show it with the earlier model with a rack on the top. And, I've found it an ad in the Saturday Evening Post from 1929 so it was sold for quite a few years.

This one is in average condition, missing the bottom tabs on the cage handles, it's been thoroughly cleaned, but not polished. So this one is priced for you to do the polishing. It comes with a detachable cord set.

Universal U-Polish
The Brand Name Known In Every Home
New Britain Conn. U.S.A.
108-114 Volts 3.5 Amps

Shipping weight 5 Lbs.


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 good condition with some corrosion on the base. 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.

Universal The Brand Name Known In Every Home
New Britain Conn. U.S.A.


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

First American Electric Toaster.

The Original Electric Toaster 3.0

General Electric introduced an electric toaster in 1909, then made modifications within the first few years, ending with a lowered outside rail on either side, making toast removal possible without burning fingers on the hot steel cage. One just plugs in the cord set then leans a slice of bread on either side. Miracolo! Toast without a fire.

Contemporary with the invention of the electric toaster was the mechanical marvel of the typewriter without which you'd be writing with a quill. That was a hundred years ago.

This toaster still works, suitable for very occasional use. There is a signature on the bottom which is molded into the base. It is in very good condition with one finger is splinted with mica, a slight shadow in the glaze and replacement feet. It comes with detachable cord set. A hundred years old and still going!

The Original Electric Toaster 3.0


Purchase Information

Manning-Bowman Reversible Toaster

This "reversible" toaster has a cage on each side that opens for loading bread. The cages close with fine spring steel wires.

After one side of the slice is toasted, the whole cage rotates on the horizontal axis to flip the bread from one side to the other.

This one is in very good condition including the name badge. It is beautifully crafted by a company with the slogan "MB Means Best". Detachable cord set included.

Manning-Bowman Reversible Toaster MB Means Best, Manning-Bowman & Co
Meriden, Conn. U.S.A.


Purchase Information
The Manning-Bowman Company made beautiful appliances.

The Rock Island Toaster

I believe this toaster is from the late 1920s, but with a rather art nouveau motif which was popular several decades earlier.

The toaster sports red door handles nickel plating and turned up feet with neatly concealed fiber feet, and a nice name badge mounted on the base. The mechanism flips the slice to toast the other side when the door is opened and closed. It is well constructed of sturdy materials into a very pleasing design.

This one is in good condition showing slight deterioration to the nickel plating. It comes with a detachable cord set that plugs into the side. This one makes good toast either light or dark.

The Rock Island Toaster
Rock Island, Ill.
110-115 Volts 600 Watts

Shipping Weight 5 Lbs.


Purchase Information
Sturdy Construction

Cages pivot on a horizontal plane

Gold Seal Type Toaster

This toaster is not signed, but it is typical of a Gold Seal toaster with the same base and type of cages that swing out and pivot on a horizontal plane to flip the bread to the other side of the slice.

It has vertically laced spiral coil heating elements. It is in good condition except for some corrosion to the base plate for the heating elements, some corrosion on one foot and some scratching on the top. And, it still makes pretty good toast.

Gold Seal Type Toaster

Shipping weight 4 Lbs.


Purchase Information

The 1929 Excel Toastoy Electric Child's Toy

>This child's toy is a miniature working scale model of an electric toaster. It sold in the 1920s for one dollar, or for a quarter more west of Denver. This actually still works.

Produced by the Excel Electric Company at Walnut and 20th Streets in Muncie, Indiana.

Excel Electric Company, Muncie, Indiana

$145 with original carton

Purchase Information
Advertisement for the Excel Toastoy circa 1929 The fast way to learn about 'hot'.

Toastmaster model 1A1, the first automatic pop-up toaster

Toastmaster model Automatic Pop-up Toaster

Charles Perkins Strite was the guy in Stillwater, Minnesota who paired a clockworks timer and set of carbon contacts together with heating elements to cook both sides of a slice at once AUTOMATICALLY, without turning or burning as with the manual, fold-down-door models 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 and others, millions of 'em, people who adore their old Toastmaster.

This single slice unit has two control levers: one pushes down to wind a spring that operates the clockwork mechanism, and the other lever pushes down to lower 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.

Rob in Modesto bought this 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!"

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


Purchase Information

The Boston Toaster circa 1909

According to Charles P. Fisher, author of Early American Electric Toasters, A Selection of Historical, Interesting and Good Examples, 1906 to 1940, this toaster is the heaviest (4 lbs) and highest quality toaster known to him.

The patent for this Simplex toaster was applied for in 1909, and manufactured by a Boston company, The Simplex Electric Heating Company. According to William F. George, author of Antique Electric Waffle Irons 1900-1960 A History of the Appliance Industry in 20th Century America , it was a division of Simplex Wire & Cable Company that grew from The Simplex Electrical Company incorporated in 1895 and doing business on Franklin Street in Cambridge.

The construction of this toaster is interesting. To begin with, it has a very sturdy, expensive ceramic core, rather than the more common mica. Then the frame is built with double walls, also expensive and like no other toaster I can think of.

The doors are removable making them easy to clean them, and the floor of the toaster.

The toaster has two retractable wire racks for keeping a slice of toast warm while more is cooking, or even two slices. Note that the maximum height of your toast is four inches. You'd have to slice off the top of even sandwich bread. I guess they had small loaves in Boston.

And, the whole thing sits on a base made of cast iron finished in oven fired black enamel. It is heavy. There is nice signature on the bottom.

This one is still in very good condition and works perfectly. It comes with a detachable cord set.

The Boston Toaster
110 Volts 4.5 Amps

Shipping weight: 7 Lbs.


Purchase Information
The Boston Toaster circa 1909

Home. . . 1920s. . . 1930s. . . 1940s & Later. . . Non electric. . . 220 Volt. . .
Waffle Irons. . . Corn Poppers. . . Fryers. . . Egg Cookers. . . Other. . .
Kitchen Props . . . Toast Racks. . . toasterNotes Cards. . .
Repair Service. . . Replacement Cord Sets. . . FAQ. . . Links. . .

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