Friday, 4 June 2010

A Short History of Toasters

Four generations of the Princes of Orange:
William I, Maurice and Frederick Henry,
William II, William III
(Willem van Honthorst, 1662)


The Toaster is Dead.

I have concluded that we are living through
an in-bred dynasty of Toasters,
with receding heating elements
and impotent timer switches.

Toaster the First
Solid, dependable, old fashioned.
Toasters the Second, Third and Fourth
Short, forgettable reigns
Deceptively attractive exterior
No substance
Toaster the Fifth
Extended period of consistent eccentricity.
Toaster the Sixth
Smart and well presented
A brief but brilliant reign;
expired suddenly with multiple failures.
Toaster the Seventh
The twin of Toaster the Sixth
welcomed with naive optimism on Saturday
by the loyal subjects who continue to believe
(despite all the evidence to the contrary)
that somewhere out there
is a Toaster that works.

Long live the Toaster.


  1. I
    your posts.

    (We went through many toasters over the years whilst I begged K for a Duralit. He demurred, stating that $300 for something that toasts bread was ridiculous. Ten years ago we were gifted with a Duralit and though it is very handsome, it was $300 and only toasts bread! It has not, however, broken. Say La Vee.)

  2. Clearly inbred.

    You need to mix it up with some common or garden genes to strengthen the bloodlines.

  3. Toast the toasters...we should all go back to suspending the bread over a candle.

  4. I grew up in a house with an eye level gas grill... the best toast ever and it never went wrong! Do they still make cookers with eye level grills?

  5. you must make a LOT of toast.

  6. Crumbs! You're on a roll.

  7. We never have problems with toasters in our house (she says touching wood as she types with the other hand) however irons are a different story. I've given up buying flashy expensive versions, it's just throwing good money after bad, I wait until the basic steam models are on special offer at our local Asda or Lidl and buy them in threes for little money - they break down just as quickly but I generally have a spare in the loft to continue with the seam pressing (well you didn't think I was using them for clothes did you?)

  8. Our toaster is just about hanging in there (though you do have to keep checking and flipping the bread!) but our kettle just gave out this past weekend. Ack!

    K x

  9. Don't buy a Disney one which supposedly "toasts" a picture of Mickey Mouse on the bread, and pops it out to the signature tune of "Disney Club". They only last just over a year........ and NO I didn't buy it, His Nibs was sent on his own to buy one. That'll teach me.....!

  10. That's quite a few toasters....
    I saved up for a dualit when I left home, and it's still working perfectly 26 years later.(and you can buy spare parts if needed, so completely repairable. Worth the investment!)

  11. our toaster blew up two days ago.... flashes and flames and all.

    Kids very excited. Me unusually composed and together in the face of fire.

    It's a bad time to be a toaster. Times are a changing...

  12. I know that Toaster family so well. I have had intimate aquaintance with several of them, the worst being the decrepit old ruin my mother insisted was quite alright... in spite of the intermittent little shocks it gave the user!

  13. Wouldn't they actually be 'inbread'?

  14. Toast the Toaster - a fine example of a cognate accusative.

  15. AnonymousJune 04, 2010

    A Short History of Toasters or A Life of Slices

  16. might I be so bold as to suggest that the magpie family have croissants for breakfast, or the list writer just posted a very fine looking recipe for cinnamon rolls that would make a tasty breakfast - oh and would look great photographed on a nice blue and white plate x

  17. Goodness, reading Monica's comment I am beginning to believe there will be a revolution.

    Perhaps some fruit...

  18. AnonymousJune 04, 2010 it might be like having a VW camper van on your kitchen table but by crikey ours has done some serious mileage in the last fifteen years.

  19. Toasters are a constant cause of argument here - I love our current one which is long and thin so doesn't take up half the work surface. Husband is at constant war with any toaster we've had (six in 34yrs of marriage, including, a long period without one when we had a gas cooker with super grill, and one that went up in flames). Daughter had one ironically called the Speedy which was the slowest ever invented. I think a Duralit is the answer - they survive years of misuse in boarding school 'houses' containing multiple boys! (despite constantly setting off the smoke alarm)

  20. MrM should point out that Mr and MrsM still have the ultimate manual backup - two extendable toasting forks at the bottom of a drawer from our time at university. Have never broken down at all.

    Unfortunately we do not have a gas or open fire on which to (re)hone our toasting skills.

    I think I might dig it out this weekend and go for the whole Poseidon with his trident effect.

  21. AnonymousJune 04, 2010

    We are up to toaster TWO in our 23 year union. Mostly because toaster one had become rather rusty.

    Toaster two is yet to endear itself. It makes the toast tooooo toasty. I don't like that.

    May your toaster make your new toast with just the right amount of toastiness.

  22. I just noticed that your princes are (nearly) all as shiny as toasters - a nice illustrative touch!

  23. AnonymousJune 04, 2010

    I wish you luck. I no longer believe in the toaster as a functional idea.

  24. Now we know why they used to be so popular and duplicated as wedding presents....Love the illustration to start :-)

  25. You take one stick. To this stick you apply a piece of bread. Wave gently over a fire.

    You may need to replace the stick once every few weeks.

  26. "Ging gang goolie, goolie, goolie, goolie, watcha..."

  27. Haven't had a toaster since the last one caught fire. Been using the broiler element in the oven with great success :)


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