Friday, June 10, 2005

Speaking of Useful Artifacts

Our track-record with household appliances is spotty at best. We've managed to do in a vacuum or two, and it's best not to mention the number of blenders we've left in our wake. Toasters also figure on our list of defunct mecha, except for one - the "Vesuvius toaster" which Richard and I rescued from the jetsam of a home he was house sitting.

The volcano toaster- We've managed to kill off something like 3 or 4 toasters now in our marriage. This is the only one which managed to survive.
Originally uploaded by Father O'Five.

This of course was many years ago now. This toaster was one of the few kitchen things I had before Cheryl and I got married.

Believe it or not, there is more than one toaster museum online. There is the Toaster Museum Foundation. There is also the International Central Services (ICS) Toaster Museum. I found the latter first, and while it is based in Europe, it has a very comprehensive collection - and a nice site too.

The volcano toaster- You can see down at the base that this is a Hotpoint. I looked it up and it's from the 20's or 30's.
Originally uploaded by Father O'Five.

Our toaster is a Hotpoint, and while I wasn't able to find an exact identification for it on the Toaster Museum Foundation site, this article about the Hotpoint brand, shows a similar toaster, dated c. 1932.

The ICS toaster museum does not have an exact match to our toaster either, but it has a similar Hotpoint toaster from Australia, dated to the 1920s. And it also notes that collectors price trends for that type of toaster run between $100-200 USD!

The volcano toaster- This thing is totally manual and has two heat settings - on or off.
Originally uploaded by Father O'Five.

Given its age, increasing value as an antique, and the fact that this is one of those toasters that in years past people could commit suicide with in a bathtub, you know that the opportunities for the M's to touch this toaster will be vanishingly small.

Still, the thing can hot up your bagel in no time flat (both a pro and a con), and is tougher than any 3 modern toasters combined. It may sit on our counter on active duty for a few more years yet before we retire it to a safety deposit box for our retirement.

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