Posted by Roy Mackey on Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Well finally I found another toaster,... actually a real toaster. Most people don't realize it but they stopped making real toasters back in the mid fifties or so. Accountants back then had figured out using numbers that toasters were just lasting too long. So they came up with a plan to slowly start making toasters cheaper and cheaper until eventually they would barely last a year. This was a great plan for selling more toasters and has become the mainstay of modern society. The best part about this plan was that hardly even one citizen (that's what people in a country were called before marketers changed it to "consumer" to help inspire an urge to buy more) complained. Excessive marketing, promoting the new and improved toasters, became common and slowly the old toasters faded away.
The new ones were better according to the ads. To anyone with common sense though it was a different story. The new ones then were no longer chrome but instead cheap plastic and paint. In short time the paint started to chip and they looked like hell. The handles always broke and even though the toaster would still work it was impossible to crank it down using the tiny metal tab that stuck out that previously held the handle. They also did not cook toast... they dehydrated it and then burnt it. This was fine for people with no attention to detail I guess. Anyone with good taste for details knew otherwise. Nobody said much though since who wanted to argue with the new and improved and risk looking like a fool.
My parents of course grew up in the mountains and hard times were common. Thus my Dad never threw out a thing. You never knew when you were going to need it again. Well the toaster was no different. We had one I called "old faithful" it made the best toast ever. That sucker was ancient and yet worked great. The trouble was when Mom got her new harvest gold stove it did not match so "old faithful" went into the basement and in danced "harvest gold" It was an impressive looking thing all modern looking and just like the ads showed it.
Well that one lasted about a year before we had to throw it out. The morning it died Dad went down in the basement and drug out "old faithful" again. We used it for a long time until finally Mom got another gold one, a real four slicer. Well at first I was impressed but quickly realized that it was just another one of those dehydrators and not a toaster. It made horrible toast and even though it was a four slicer it took longer to make four slices than our two slice "old faithful" did.
Well needless to say it also lasted barely a year or more and off to the dump it went. For some strange reason Dad did not keep those things. I guess he knew they were non repairable. I wish now I would have taken pictures of all those new toasters that came and went, probably at least fifteen or maybe more. All useless landfill now. Yet "old faithful" refused to die. Finally in a fit of "modernization" they popped "old faithful" in one of Mom's annual garage sales and off it went to some new owners never to be seen again. My guess is you likely remember a similar story as it was quite common.
Well I was at a garage sale recently and there in a box of old Picaso sketches and some antique gold coins was one of those old toasters! It was mint and only $2. so I popped the guy a toonie, scooped it up and made break for the truck. I was worried someone was going to realize what I had so wanted out of there fast! After getting back and cleaning it up I gave it a try and Viola the best toast ever!! Yes toast that is still fresh on the inside and yet toasted brown on the outside. Man I could live off bread again just like I used to as a kid.
The real interesting thing I noticed was that this toaster was about half the size of our Home Depot landfill special! This is really amazing to me. After all, these days with land and building prices being the highest they have ever been in the history of mankind and houses/apartments being smaller than ever, toasters just keep getting bigger!!! Ours took up almost half our counter space! I am just praying for the day some smart designer realizes that I want "toast"... not a "toaster" especially a toaster that's huge!!!
Oh sure the outside of the old toaster does get a little hotter than the newer ones. I guess if I or some other brain dead, sheltered from pain all his life kid weren't careful then an owie could be had. But like my dad used to always say finger burns rarely kill anyone but sure can make you smarter quick!!
So in the future if you happen to see one of these old beasts you may want to consider it, you won't regret it. If you do scoop one the only thing you have to make sure is that it pops up on its own. I have three now for back up and which should last me for another 90 years at least. After that I will have to hope some ex NASA scientist may have invented one that actually works like these old ones do. In the meantime though I can now have delicious toast every night for dinner.