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US Patent: 1,394,450
Charles P. Strite - Minneapolis, MN

USPTO Classifications:
99/327, 99/341, 99/391

Tool Categories:
household machines


Waters-Genter Co. - Minneapolis, MN
McGraw Electric Co. - Sioux City, IA


Patent Dates:
Granted: Oct. 18, 1921

Patent Pictures:
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USPTO press release commemorating this patent
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This patent is for the first pop-up toaster. It's hard to imagine that before that time, most toasters had a door on either side that was hinged at the bottom to insert and remove a slice of bread. It was up to the user to open it at the right time. The advantage of Strite's invention is that it toasted both sides at once, and it did not rely on human attention to avoid burning. Strite's "Toastmaster" was introduced by Minneapolis manufacturer Waters-Genter Co. in 1921, as a product for commercial kitchens. In 1927 businessman Max McGraw provided funding for the introduction of a household version of the Toastmaster; he acquired the company outright later that year, and then in 1929 sold the business to McGraw Electric Co.

See also Strite's patents 1,387,670 and 1,698,146.

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