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Electric Toasters Made in the U.S.A. during the depression years: 1930s


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1934 Toastmaster Automatic Pop-up Toaster

"Cheek to Cheek" by Irving Berlin topped the charts and "42nd Street" was running on Broadway when Toastmaster produced this stunning architectural design with that could have been a Busby Berkeley set! It has a clockwork timer that ticks with settings from light to dark. Remove the bottom cover for crumb extraction.

I found an advertisement for Coca-Cola, encouraging the consumption of Coke for breakfast, and if you look closely behind the coke bottle, you'll see this toaster on the breakfast table.

We can also offer a hostess set for this model. (Priced separately.) It consists of a pressed wooden tray and crust trimmer, a pair of divided glass dishes for the spreads, and four glass serving dishes. Pretty darned nifty. In fact, is was suggested as a gift for Christmas in the 1935 Sunset magazine.

This one is in very good condition, but shows use and wear, mostly light scratching to the highly polished chromium plating. I've fitted this one with a new replacement cord with a molded plug.

1934 Toastmaster Automatic Pop-up Toaster
McGraw Electric Company
Water-Genters Div. Mpls, Minn. U.S.A.
120 Volts 1200 Watts

$275 for the toaster as shown
$400 for the toaster and hostess set

Purchase Information
The most beautiful toaster ever made in the U.S.A.

1936 Toastmaster Automatic Pop-up

Bobbi in Boulder bought this model toaster and wrote to say I tried my new Toastmaster yesterday, and I am glad to tell you that it produced a fine piece of toast! I like many different degrees of toast and yesterday I tried the lightest setting to see where to begin. It was heavenly -- just the right amount of crispy -- so delicate. I'm very happy with my toaster!! She looks grand in her spot and she's so tidy and demure (I used to have one of those gargantuan T-Fal monstrosities-- that only lasted 2 years). Most of my life I have bemoaned the demise of the American products we were proud to produce and that lasted forever and could be repaired. This little sweetie is such a gem, and to think, she is 78 years old!:) I get satisfaction from the ticking she produces while she works:)

1936 Toastmaster Automatic Pop Up Toaster

"Over the Rainbow" topped the hit parade for 15 weeks the year Toastmaster came out with a toaster that would do Auntie Em proud. It has a chrome body with incised parallel lines that wrap around the corners and sits on a graceful bakelite base.

The top of the toaster slopes toward the push-down lever side. A light/dark knob controls the clockwork timing mechanism. The bottom cover is removable for easy crumb extraction.

This one shows considerable scratching to the mirror finish on the top and also on the front where the handle has rubbed against it. It has been fitted with a new replacement cord and molded plug and works just fine.

Toastmaster Automatic Pop Up Toaster
McGraw Electric Company,
Toastmaster Products Div. MPLS MINN U.S.A.,
110 Volts 1100 Watts.

Shipping weight 9 Lbs.

$120

Purchase Information

Sunbeam Silent Automatic Toaster, mid-1930s

You'd never know that this toaster arrived during the depression years. This statuesque, two-slice toaster is automatic but not pop-up. When the toast is done, the toasting panels turn off automatically. When you want your toast, simply raise the handle. It uses a bimetal timing mechanism rather than a clockworks hence the name "Silent Automatic."

It has been completedly disassembled, derusted, terminals cleaned, nuts and bolts replaced with stainless steel where necessary, the carriage mechanism lubricated, and the bimetal blades calibrated.

The beautiful chrome body with bakelite handles sits on an ornate bakelite base. It features a faceted glass jewel set in the front that glows orange when the toaster is in operation. It comes with a detachable cord set which plugs in at the center of the back.

The case on this one shows light scratching, consistent with being wiped down, and as is common with this model, the base has an inconsipicuous crack along a seam.

Sunbeam Silent Automatic Toaster
Chicago Flexible Shaft Company
Chicago U.S.A.
110-120 Volts 875 Watts

Shipping weight 10 Lbs.

$250

Purchase Information
Perfect Anniversary Gift

Patty in Burlington, Indiana bought this toaster and wrote to say Your beautiful Sunbeam Silent Automatic toaster arrived safely yesterday and it's a work of art; I can't stop admiring it. And to think, this beauty even makes toast! To say I'm thrilled with this purchase is an understatement.


One of the least common of the Sunbeams

Sunbeam Silent Automatic Toaster circa 1938

In between the T1 and more famous T9, this toaster was made for a short time only; I've seen it advertised in 1938. The distinctive faceted glass jewel set in the face of the toaster glows orange during the toasting cycle.

It is also a pre-pop-up model, so after the toasting cycle has ended automatically according to the light/dark setting, one raises the handle (signed Sunbeam) manually to lift the toast.

I've used this toaster and can attest that if you use a dense, dark whole wheat bread, you'll never have to put it through twice! This toaster is capable of producing lightly toasted fluffy white bread all the way to darkly toasted dense, whole wheat or multi-grain bread. Aside from a small chip, this one is in superb condition, with most sumptuous shoulders. It comes with a detachable cord set that plugs in the back.

Sunbeam Silent Automatic Toaster 1938

Shipping weight 10 Lbs.

$375

Purchase Information

Sunbeam model T-9 automatic pop-up

Peerless for design and quality, the T-9 has an incised design surrounding a glass jewel on the face of the toaster finished with bakelite handles and base. Controls for Light/Dark, as well as "Keeps Toast Warm" or "Pops Toast Up". It has a large, easy-to-open crumb door.

This model is in the permanent design collection of several museums. And, you can have one of your own, or give one as a special gift, clean as a whistle, working as it did originally when it was brand new.

Fully refurbished and in excellent condition, this toaster is ready to enjoy every day.

This is an especially good choice for customers looking for good value, a toaster not made in China, and an alternative to replacing a toaster every year or two.

Sunbeam Corporation
Chicago U.S.A. Toronto, Canada,
110-120 Volts 1100 Watts.

Shipping weight 10 Lbs.

$375 in excellent condition

Purchase Information
The Sunbeam T9 toaster is an example of American manufacturing at its zenith.

Martin in Carson City bought this model toaster and wrote to say The T9 is beautiful and the toast that it renders is crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. The preparation of toast is lost on contemporary toasters. Your integrity in this purchase is appreciated.

Bill in Brentwood, Tennessee bought this model toaster and wrote to say Last year I purchased a Sunbeam T-9 as an anniversary gift for my wife. I just wanted to tell you that she loves it, and so do I. It looks great on the kitchen counter and performs exceptionally well. What more can you ask from a toaster? We look forward to using it for many more years. Thank you so much for restoring these great old machines.


General Electric with expanding door hinge for toasting thick breads.

Barbara and David in Cherry Hill, New Jersey bought this toaster and wrote to say My husband is delighted with the ExpanDor toaster he received for Valentine's Day. Thanks to your suggestion steering me to a toaster that accommodates thick slices, we ate an astonishing breakfast on Tuesday complete with bagels that were properly browned and warm.

Not only does the toaster exceed my expectations to perform flawlessly, it looks wonderful on my kitchen counter. Many thanks for your superior customer service. I've shared your web address with some of my colleagues at work and with the builder who remodeled our kitchen. Please stay in business. I want an egg cooker, a waffle iron, a ………..

General Electric Expan-dor

Before World War II, General Electric introduced this attractive toaster with a special feature that allows for toasting of thick breads, bagels, and sandwiches as well as regular bread.

The hinge at the bottom of each door is made to expand for extra width. Pretty neat, huh?

This one is clean top to bottom with almost no signs of wear. It comes with a detachable cord set that plugs into one side. And, it makes pretty good toast.

The Expan-dor from General Electric
115 Volts 450 Watts
Bridgeport, Conn. Made in U.S.A. Ontario, Calif.

Shipping weight 6 Lbs.

SOLD

Purchase Information

1931 L & H Dropper from Milwaukee

Lindemann & Hoverson was a prominent manufacturer in Milwaukee, with a factory four blocks long on Cleveland Avenue with a thousand workers, iron and brass foundries, sheet metal shops, machine shops, research and chemical labs, a power plant, and loading docks for 30 rail cars at once. Albert Lindemann's insisted his factory be clean, well lighted, ventilated and safe, remarkable in the 1920s. He also served as president of the Milwaukee School Board and founder and administrator of the Milwaukee Trade School. Buy the book and you can read the fascinating history.

In 1931, when gas cost ten cents a gallon and the average price of a new home was less than seven thousand dollars, this toaster sold for $15, a handsome price. When it was advertised in 1931, it was billed as The Toaster That Almost Thinks. (Yeah, but can it play Jeopardy?) But, it earned the billing because it is automatic, well sort of.

First, on control panel you flip the On switch to let the toaster heat up for a minute; next adjust the setting for how dark; next raise the top cover, which also closes the flaps at the bottom of each slot.

Lastly, cock the lever to start the timing and drop in the bread. The lever operates a clockworks mechanism which eventually triggers the bottom flaps to open allowing the toast to fall down a chute on either side, and automatically!

I cannot recommend this one for anything but occassional use or as an art object, but it is in working order and will make good toast, but with a twist -- the center panel runs hot, so you have to take the slices out and reverse them after ninety seconds. This one shows a touch of corrosion and some scratching. It comes with a detachable cord set.

1931 L & H Dropper
Lindemann and Hoverson
Milwaukee, Wisc. U.S.A.

Shipping weight 12 Lbs.

$400

Purchase Information
Lindemann and Hoverson on Cleveland Avenue in Milwaukee

Thomas A. Edison got his name all over this toaster.

The Edicraft Speed Toaster

For Christmas 1929, Toastmaster led the electric automatic toaster market with it's toaster but it toasted only one slice at a time. So, it's no wonder that this toaster was billed as 'double slice, double side, double quick'. And, the notion of speed was modern and sleek and streamlined in 1929.

Indeed, this high-end toaster would toast both sides of two slices at once. It's a clamshell design, with heating panels mounted inside both doors. It has a clockworks timer on the control panel, with Thomas Edison's signature even.

It heats up as soon as you plug it into a wall receptacle and turn on the inline switch. Then one cocks a lever that winds a clock and also closes both doors. At the end, the doors open, but the current doesn't go off automatically. If you want a toaster for daily use, look for a Sunbeam or Toastmaster; this one is more of a collectible and curiosity.

It is in reasonably good condition and working. The main flaw is some plating loss alont the top of one door.

The toaster was heavily promoted, with Christmas ads in 1929 and 1930. It was pictured in a period booklet called Equipping The Modern Home from Lewis and Conger on 45th Street in New York, presumably to guide young brides on what to buy -- Baccarat glassware and this this Edison Speed Toaster. They even invented a character called Rita who scored a social coup and has nothing on her gift list but Edicraft electrical appliances.

Edicraft Speed Toaster
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Orange, N.J. Made in U.S.A.

Shipping weight 10 Lbs.

$425

Purchase Information

Circle Toaster

The shape of the case is a circle intersected on the horizontal plane with the black base. The pushdown lever and release lever are located on the narrow side with only the Light/Dark adjusting wheel appearing on the face of the toaster. The wheel turns, but doesn't seem to do anything to the clock.

This is not a good choice for regular use; rather, a still functioning example of terrific design and function. This toaster has not been refurbished and is sold 'as is'. I've made toast in it.

The clock still ticks, and it still pops up automatically. The surprise is that the release lever will pop up the toast early, but leaves the heating elements on until the end of the clock cycle. The light/dark dial doesn't seem to do anything.

On the back side, there is a little crumb drawer that pulls out of the base..

Circle Toaster

Shipping weight 7 Lbs.

$75 as is

Purchase Information
Concentric circles deco theme

Waterfall base

Superlectric Toaster

This toaster incorporates two elements of modern design: concentric circles with staggered speed lines, and the waterfall handles and base. The rounded corners are central to streamlining and the notion of speed. The manufacturer used lightning bolts in the Superlectric logotype (image taken from a different toaster.)

As nifty as it looks, this is not a good choice for regular use. This toaster has not been refurbished and is sold 'as is'. I've made toast in it.

The clock still ticks, and it still pops up automatically. The surprise is that the release lever simply lifts the carriage to raise the toast, but leaves the heating elements on until the end of the clock cycle.

Superlectric Toaster

Shipping weight 7 Lbs.

$55 as is

Purchase Information

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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