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

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Early Edison Hotpoint Electric Toaster

In 1918, Mr. Edison was running his illuminating company on Pearl Street in Manhattan with his factory for Edison Electric Appliance Company in Ontario, California.

This Edison model was on the market fairly early, shown in this 1922 ad selling under the Hotpoint brand.

This toaster has vertically laced spiral coil and an attached twisted pair cord and original plug. The inline switch works but suffers a chip on the neck.

Although it works, it is more suitable as a gift to a toaster collector, or someone who has absolutely everything, or perhaps a patent lawyer, inventor, or historian.

Early Edison Hotpoint Electric Toaster

Shipping weight 5 Lbs.


Purchase Information

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

Universal Big Brother

This toaster is exactly the same as the one shown above, but it is scaled slightly taller, but not wider, with slightly larger cages 5.5 inches long and 5 inches high (versus 4.25 inches square).

This one is in good condition. It shows some patches of corrosion, the worst is on the base below where the plug fits in and general staining to the nickel plating. It comes with a detachable cord set.

Universal Big Brother
The Brand Name Known In Every Home
New Britain Conn. U.S.A.
108-114 Volts 5 Amps

Shipping weight 6 Lbs.


Purchase Information
Big Brother and the Toasting Company

Made In New York City

The Rite Electric Toaster from NYC

Right Tool & Die Co. Inc. of New York turned out this model with a patent pending. It has a green painted base and absolutely no frills. The only concession is a stamped panel on the top.

It is very nicely signed on the bottom.

Rite Electric Toaster
Right Tool and Die Co. Inc. New York
110-115 Volts 550 Watts

Shipping weight 3 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

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'.

First Automatic Pop Up Toaster

The Original Automatic Pop Up Toaster

Just after World War I, Charles Perkins Strite in Stillwater, Minnesota invented the automatic pop up toaster. Soon after, Mr. Waters and Mr. Genter in Minneapolis acquired the patents and thus began the great American company, Toastmaster.

Early on, the toaster was produced and sold by the thousands for commercial use in hotels, hospitals, and commercial settings, including Childs restaurants.

The timing operates by a clockworks mechanism, the fabulous Murray Ireland clock which was built inside all Toastmasters, both commercial and domestic models, until 1940. Here is a peek at the toaster with the cover removed.

As best we can tell, this model is from the late 1920s. It looks like a beast, very strange with today's eyes. It has a window made of mica on each side, and on the back. This model operates on household current, but it was also sold in 206 and 220 Volt models.

The controls are located on the front with a separate push down lever for each pair of slices and an arm in the notched slot for setting the darkness. The large crumb tray pulls out from the front. In addition, there is a switch mounted on each side which turns off the outer panel of the outer slot on that side, for lower capacity operation.

This one has been disassembled, cleaned and restored to good working order. The aluminum body shows a few minor scars and some light pitting in a few places, but is otherwise in good condition. And, it makes pretty good toast. For best results, we recommend preheating the toaster through one cycle before making the first batch of toast. (When a single slice version for domestic use made its debut in 1926, the instructions state that one should do the same.)

The Original Automatic Pop Up Toaster
110 Volts 2750 Watts
Waters-Genter Co. Minneapolis U.S.A.

Shipping weight 28 Lbs


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

Patent granted in September of 1912.

Pelouze Vertical Toaster circa 1912

This is the least common of any toaster for sale here at Toaster Central. Because it is so early, it was still a new-fangled thing.

According to the Charles P. Fisher book on toasters "Edward Schwartz received a design patent on the spidery cabriole-legged percher, which was made by Pelouze Mfg. of Chicago." I think it is interesting that two dates are shown on the badge, for both the patent application date and also the date the patent was granted.

It's a striking piece, even in profile.

And, yes, it still works. It's in beautiful condition with minor repair to the mica plates that is not conspicuous, and otherwise all original. But, this is really a show piece and I'd not recommend using it frequently. Great gift for a patent lawyer, inventor, or someone who already has everything and doesn't need a gift from Sharper Image.

Pelouze Vertical Toaster circa 1912
110 Volts 500 Watts
Pelouze Manufacturing Co. Chicago


Purchase Information

Westinghouse Turnover Toaster Westinghouse E. & M. Co.  East Pittsburgh, PA.

Westinghouse Turnover Toaster

The earlier version of this toaster, with a ceramic core rather than mica, was advertised for Christmas in 1916, but this toaster dates a few years later when Westinghouse was still in East Pittsburgh, before the move to Mansfield, Ohio. This model has a permanently attached cord which I've replaced and fitted with a bakelite plug.

Turnover Toaster Style N0.284032A
Westinghouse Elec..& Mfg.. Co.
East Pittsburgh, PA. U.S.A.
Volts 100/120 Watts-550.
LMP diamond
Patented 7-28-14 9-25-14
the WEP inside a double circle


Purchase Information

The First Swinger

This is a fairly fancy toaster called the Electroweld with colored handles, swinging doors and a rather odd on/off switch that looks like it should be a lamp socket. This one is in good condition and is complete except for what must have been colored fiber feet.

This toaster is interesting because it is based on the first patented design for a toaster with with swinging baskets. The patent was granted in November 1920. The original had just wire handles and a heavy cast-lead weight in the base, but this later version has turned wood handles.

Pat. Nov. 16, 1920 is the only marking on the bottom.


Purchase Information
Circa 1922-1925 made in Linn Mass.

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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