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


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

1938 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:)

1938 Toastmaster Automatic Pop Up Toaster

"Boogie Woogie" by Tommy Dorsey was on the radio airwaves when this model Toastmaster hit the market, with Jimmy Dorsey's "Deep Purple" and no less than The Seven Dwarfs (yes THE Seven Dwarfs) with "Whistle While You Work". 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 is in very good condition with minor cosmetic flaws on the mirror finish. 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. Elgin, Ill.
110 Volts 10 Amps.

Shipping weight 9 Lbs.

$149

Purchase Information

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.

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

SOLD

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

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

1934 Toastmaster Single Slice

And, here is the single slice version of the marvelous 1934 Toastmaster, suitable for tiny kitchens, bachelors and bachelorettes, and patient families.

This one is in good condition with minor signs of wear and use, mostly light scratching from daily use. It has been fitted with a new black neoprene replacement cord.

1934 Toastmaster Single Slice
(Produced 1934 until 1939) by McGraw Electric Company
Water-Genters Div. Mpls, Minn. U.S.A.
(Made in Elgin, Ill. for the last years of production)

Shipping weight 7 Lbs.

$178

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.


Ivory colored fittings

Turn Easy Toaster with Ivory Colored Knobs

I don't know for sure, but suspect that this model is from the late 1930s. It has ivory colored knobs and feet which are all in very good condition but overall the toaster is in average condition.

This one has suffered abuse from abrasive cleaners. There is scratching on the top of the toaster as well as the top of the door and also on the top the other door too as I've emphasized in the pictures with lighting.

The toaster is perfectly clean inside and out, and the inside of both doors shows some corrosion in the corners. It comes with a detachable cord set.

Turn Easy Toaster with Ivory Colored Knobs
110-120 Volts 625 Watts
New Britain, Conn. Made in U.S.A.

Shipping weight 5 Lbs.

$80

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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