Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Suitable Gift for Everyone?

Westinghouse Electrical Gifts:

Turnover Toaster

Just open the rack to turn the toast! (click any image to enlarge)

Patented around 1914, the Westinghouse Turnover Toaster was said to have "a very attractive appearance." It was made out of pressed sheet steel and finished in highly polished nickel. The toast could be turned without danger of burning the fingers, by means of an insulated knob. The flat surface on top of the toaster was often used for heating food or plates. Priced @ $6.00 in 1927.

Panel Percolator & "A Welcome Package of Comfort"

"Guaranteed" to provide you with a delicious cup of coffee, the Panel Percolator was one of the many designs offered by Westinghouse in the early 1900s. Advertising the "paramount delights of summer cooking," one advertisement proclaimed the convenience of never having to leave the table and reminded the consumer about the low cost of electricity rates. A discount was offered for buying both! $8.75 6 cup Percolator & Toaster Stove.

Worried about your radio reception? If so, your worries are over. The Westinghouse electric warming pads "will not interfere with your radio reception." The equivalent of a "hot water bottle," they were made in two sizes and incased in fawn-colored felt cases. The larger pad was equipped with a three-way-heating switch which could be turned on or off at the socket. To prevent overheating, an automatic "million dollar" Spencer thermostat was mounted inside the pads. The thermostat was designed to cut off the temperature before it became too hot. Two cutoffs were located in different parts of the pad; in case one failed. $8.50 in 1927.

Tumbler Heater & Table Stove

There you are lying in bed soothing your aches and pains dreaming about warm milk before settling in for a long winter's nap. Have no fear, the Tumbler Heater is here! In just 3 or 4 minutes, a glassful of liquid will be brought to its boiling point. Then, all you have to do is reach for the switch and turn the "the current" off. Not convenient, the sleek design will not cause the glass to "tumble."

Ad from the St. Petersburg Times; 1923

In every part of the modern home and in dentist's and doctor's offices, the Tumbler Heater is a modern convenience.

An new innovation first advertised in the late 1920s, the Westinghouse Electric Table Stove threatened the core of the highly esteemed chafing dish.

chafing dish
The origin of the chafing-dish dates back to the period of unwritten history. Its use was common at least two thousand years ago. Like the brazier, chafing-dishes were once made of bronze and rested on the floor. As occasion demanded they were carried from room to room by means of handles on the sides...the Greeks and Romans—a saucepan of Corinthian brass—was also a species of chafing-dish, having several features of the modern chafing-dish...All of these appliances were a combination of sauce-pan and heat generator. Formerly the heat was supplied by live wood coals or the flame of burning oil. The ancient dishes were intended for gentle cooking or simmering, and for keeping hot food that had been cooked by other means. This is the rightful province of the modern chafing-dish and all other cooking, save that of a gentle simmering, should be left for some more appropriate utensil. This degree of heat, that of simmering, is well adapted to the cooking of eggs, oysters, and cheese, and the reheating of cooked materials in a sauce, the sauce having been first made in the blazer of the chafing-dish.

The blazer, a hot-water pan and a lamp are the indispensable parts of the chafing-dish—the hot-water pan is some, times though erroneously, omitted. A tray upon which the dish may rest, while the lamp is lighted, insures the tablecloth against fire from below. Practical Cooking and Serving: A Complete Manual of how to Select, Prepare and Serve Food, by Janet McKenzie Hill

With the safety and convenience of having your meal cooked right before your very eyes, the chafing dish epidemic was on the verge of a complete halt.

Loving Cup Urn & Cozy Glow

A "fancy" percolator, the hostess, who served her guests coffee from one of the many beautifully designed Loving Cup Urns, was considered among the elite.

The Westinghouse Cozy-Glow "radiator" was light weight, portable and adjustable. Not only did it reflect heat rays in any direction, the Cozy-Glow was also advertised as a way to keep mom and baby warm during the chilly mornings of autumn and during the winter when the temperature hit zero! A Space Heater "perfect" for chilly rooms? A heavy cast iron base insured firmness without excessive weight. The heating unit, easily was wound on a porcelain cylinder and protected by a copper wire guard which was removed for the cleaning reflector. The reflector was built of polished copper.

All Kinds of Irons

An campaign advertised in the February, 1933, edition of the St. Petersburg Times, stated Westinghouse dealers would give the home maker one-dollar for their old iron if they purchased a new Westinghouse Lightweight Iron. I don't know about you, but I still think my iron is too heavy. Imagine how heavy those babies were when they were first advertised in 1924! 4-1/2 pounds cost $5.95 with discount.

The first Westinghouse electric waffle irons were introduced in 1912. By the 1930s Waffle Irons were the choice wedding gifts for new brides.

For the price of $2.50 one ad I came across announced; sisters everywhere would appreciate a Westinghouse Curling Iron as a gift for Christmas. (following image found @ yourememberthat.com)

The Westinghouse electric curling iron was advertised as being simple, reliable and economical. The heating element was a rod inserted directly in the barrel which could be easily removed. The swivel plug was molded of special composition and suppose to be unbreakable. Strong spring contacts in the plug assured a good connection. There were no exposed terminals.

"See" ya in a couple of days. I think it's about time I start buying some "suitable" gifts!!!


  1. What a hoot! I don't like to give or receive "suitable" gifts, it seems... Unless there is a real NEED, I like to give fun gifts!

  2. Glad to be keeping up the tradition of the waffle iron! I remember reading once that the "table stove" was considered the ultimate in elegance. It was thought to be very stylish to bring the preparation of food directly to the table. Now, I try as hard as I possibly can to keep people out of the kitchen!

  3. That Santa is a wonderful piece of ephemera. Thanks for sharing! Interesting that the "disposable" toaster I bought last year cost only slightly more than the one in 1927.

  4. You know what I love to use and rarely can find in my area anymore, is a pressure cooker. Not the canning type, just the one for cooking. I grew up on a Daisy ham with frozen stringbeans layered on top (to get the salty taste) and just pressure cook it for half hour (i think on 10lbs)

    Wait for the pressure to go down or put in sink and open faucet over it to get the pressure tab off.

  5. Very nice little corner of the history of stuff... maefood.blogspot.com

  6. Darling thanks a million for the sweet poem. You are so kind my treasured friend.

    Love & Hugs

  7. Man, I reckon these would make great gifts, especially if they still worked. :D

    I can just imaging their current value being higher than their original value. I hope some antique store doesn't get wind of this otherwise they'd be banging on your door wanting to buy.

  8. So interesting to see all the tools... looks so antique!

  9. LOL, I can remember my dad giving my mom 'suitable' gifts each year, until one year she gave him a vacuum cleaner! He got the hint...

  10. I haven't heard the Westinghouse name in a while. Ah, the nostalgia! Have a great holiday and gift shopping!

  11. Objects of the past are always very intriguing! In 50 years we'll be laughing about out year 2009 stuff too...



  12. Hi Louise -- I went through with the plan and posted my list of favorite food blogs earlier today... yours is on of course.


  13. Hey Louise!
    The turn over toaster reminds me of me of a Toaster that my grandparents had that I thought was cool. It was an old toaster looked like a regular toaster, but there was no handle to push down. All you had to do was put the toast in and the toaster would sense it and the toast would go down slowly on its own. Then when it was done it would slowly come back up. I don;t know what brand it was, but I remember as a kid I used to like to put a slice of bread in it and watch it go down. My grandparents have since passed on, but I was fortunate enough to get the toaster. Its a nice reminder of them and my childhood.

    Have a great holiday! I need to come back here more. You make me think of wonderful memories of the past.

    I won't be such a stranger in the future.


  14. My favorite is the Cozy Glow. Love the name! The Santa is so chubby and cute.

  15. I'm so glad you got a kick out of this post Channon. I like to give and get fun gifts to. Although, I wouldn't mind a food processor for Christmas. I think it fits under the heading of FUN!

    Happy Wafflemas T.W. I bet your new waffle iron works a whole lot better than the electric ones of days ago. Or does it? Some of those work horses are still in use today! I wouldn't mind people returning to the table. I had some really good times at Fondue Parties in the 70s!!! We're going to have such fun celebrating waffle days next year!!!

    Kathy he reminds me of the popular "soda pop" Santa. Don't the prices seem cheap, cheap, cheap...

    You know Sher, now that you mention it, I haven't seen any pressure cookers lately either. I'm going to check around to see if I can find one. I remember Wolf Gang Puck selling one on HSN a while back. That Daisy ham sounds quite intriguing. I'll let you know if I find a cooker!!!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Duchess.

    Hi Sire, I ran across a few websites selling working appliances just like these. So cool! This booklet is called a die-cut and they are very hard to come by. I wouldn't sell it for any price! Thanks for dropping by...

    They almost are Selba, give or take a few years.

    Me too Natashya. I'm all for bringing entertaining back to the table! The chafing dish was indeed a charming way to entertain.

    Oh, that's too funny, Kate. I seem to remember a similar story.

    Thanks for dropping by Veron, I know how busy you must be this time of year. You have a Happy & Safe Holiday too!!!

    Hi Rosa, I'm afraid we won't have to wait 50 yrs.

    Thanks Mae, I did one of my own too, such fun! Thanks for letting me in on the plan:)

    Hi Jim, Don't quote me on this but you may just have what they use to call a Toast-O-Lator! Does it look something like this? I have a Waring Blender which was my aunt's. It's from the 1930s and believe it or not, it still works GREAT today!

    The light is always on Jim, you stop by any time you like. It's wonderful to "see" you.

    Hi Rochelle, I had to smile when I first saw the Cozy Glow. Cute name:) The Santa reminds me of the one Coke Cola use to have or was that Macy's? You know, Rochelle, I' not sure if I just clicked your name on this comment and wound up at Go Daddy or if I went by way of profile->webpage. It threw me off for a moment. You may want to check it out.

    Thanks duckie, I'm glad you liked it.

  16. Where on earth did you find the book?

  17. It was inside an old recipe book, Sire. Isn't it simply adorable?


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise