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The History of the Blender
The Gift Every New Bride Needs
The blender is one of the most common kitchen items in the United States, and it shows up on almost every new bride’s registry list. Why? Well, it’s a handy little gadget to have around.
There is no end to the possibilities of what you can do with a blender. You can make delicious, nutritious smoothies with it. You can make your own all natural baby food in a blender. And I have even been known to grind coffee in mine when my coffee grinder was missing.
So, how did the blender come to be such an important part of our cultural identity? It all started with the vision of one man and the electric company who saw his genius.
The Man Behind the Blender
Stephen J. Poplawski was born in Poland in 1885. When he was nine years old, he and his family immigrated to the United States and ended up in Racine, Wisconsin. At the young age of 23, he founded his own company. A year later, the young man was commissioned by the Arnold Electric Company to come up a machine that would automatically mix malted milk drinks for restaurants. He was the first person to ever come up with the idea of connecting a blade at the bottom of the container to an agitating mechanism so that it could spin, chop, puree, and do all the things that restaurants needed a blender to do. Poplawski patented his design in 1922. In 1926, Arnold Electric Company was bought by Hamilton Beach, and Poplawski went to work for them.
Poplawski never stopped inventing, though. In 1933, he developed a blender for home use. This led to him forming the Stephens Electric Company. Seven years later, he filed his patent for the first blender ever to be used in household kitchens. In 1946, Poplawski sold his business to the Oster Manufacturing Company, and then retired. He died ten years later.
Both the Hamilton Beach and the Oster companies are still going strong, and they are both still offering quality blenders to smoothie-loving consumers - proof that Poplawski's legacy lives on in a big way.
Two Freds and the Waring Blendor
Fred Osius co-founded the Hamilton Beach Manufacturing Company with L.H. Hamilton and Chester Beach in 1910. In the 1930s, after Poplawski left the company, Osius thought of some improvements he wanted to make to Poplawski’s idea, so he got financial backing to the tune of $25,000 from musician and radio star Fred Waring.
Six months later, Waring was dissatisfied with the work Osius was doing, so he decided to hire someone else to complete the project. He did, and introduced the world to the Miracle Blender at Chicago’s National Restaurant Show in 1937.
The next year, Waring opened the Waring Corporation and changed the machine’s name to the Waring Blendor, using the “o” as a way to make his product stand out from its competitors. The Waring Blendor was an instant success among hotel and restaurant owners. And Jonas Salk even used it in the creation of his polio vaccine.
Waring blenders are still popular today, although the “o” in Blendor has been replaced by the “e” once again.
Two Other Blender Giants
The design and manufacturing of blenders has not changed all that much since the 1940s. Several other companies have started selling blenders with even more variations. Two of the most popular are Cuisinart and KitchenAid.
Cuisinart emerged as a promoted brand by chef Julia Child in the late 1970s. Their main seller at the time was the food processor. Soon after, the company began manufacturing and selling blenders. They now make dual food processor/blenders, and they even have a compact, more portable blender.
KitchenAid has been supplying the world with kitchen appliances for over a hundred years now. They began distributing blenders in 1992 and since then have developed a super, "handy" little gadget - the hand blender. This is lighter and smaller than a traditional hand mixer and can be used for a variety of cooking jobs - just like the full-size blender. Cuisinart actually also makes a hand blender, but KitchenAids are better because they allow for more speed variation.
Blender Gifts Are Not Appropriate for All Occasions!
A blender is a wonderful tool to have around the house, and it’s almost a necessity if you are looking for ways to make your family’s eating habits healthier. You can quickly and easily mix together healthier ingredients to create lower fat, more natural versions of your favorite foods.
And, as mentioned before, a blender makes a great gift. So, if someone you know doesn’t have one, run out and get one for them today! Guys, just be sure you don’t get one for your wife for your anniversary. Gifting kitchen appliances in lieu of romantic gifts is a definite “no no” for that celebration!
Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Why not put a blender or two on your Christmas shopping list? Someone you know will need (or want) one, even if they don't know it yet. These are fabulously useful little machines. And one that's wildly popular right now is the Magic Bullet (and its companion Baby Bullet). These little gems will simplify and speed up your meal preparation in ways you never thought possible. Get one on eBay today!