Long before the Thermomix ruled our kitchens, there were many gadgets once considered revolutionary. The designs may have changed and been replaced with modern versions over the years but many of the older styles can still be purchased today.
First patented in 1884, the ‘Rotary Whisk’ was invented by a chap named Willis Johnson (ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/seWkoO7hT326RgsueSJtdg ) and made mixing and beating eggs much quicker – and easier on the arm muscles with it’s hand-turned crank.
Canned food has been part of life since the early 1800’s, but it wasn’t until 1858 that the first can opener was invented by American Ezra Warner. Since this first design, the can opener has been through a few design changes to what we know today.
The ‘stab’ style can still be purchased today such as the one picture below, available from Amazon.com
“The most ancient relics of a weighing scale have been discovered in the Indus River valley, near present day’s Pakistan, and date back to around 2,000 B.C.” –
Humans have been weighing things for thousands of years with images of scales even appearing in the drawings of the Ancient Egyptians. Nowadays though, for the average household kitchen requirements, scales are smaller and usually digitised. For lovers of the older style, you can purchase vintage-inspired scales brand new or, if you’re really lucky, find the original antiques in working order.
The humble potato masher started being used in the late 1700’s when the recipe for mashed potatoes was first created. Back then, cooks would use a wooden mallet type tool before the metal variety came about in the 1800’s.
(ref: http://kingsriverlife.com/10/09/history-of-the-potatoe-masher/ )
Since then the design hasn’t really changed all that much other than the shape and size of the actual ‘masher’ part. Antique and retro potato mashers can often be found in op shops, garage sales and antique stores, but sites such as ebay are worth checking out too.