Saturday, January 3, 2009

In Praise Of My Toaster

This is my toaster.

It is a Toastess Model 202, circa 1949, made in Montreal, Canada. I bought is at a garage sale in 1986 for $5.00. It’s completly manual, with no thermostat or on/off switch, so you have to watch that your toast doesn’t burn. In a way, that’s a good thing in that it requires you to be mindful. You plug it in and it’s on, and you pull the plug and it’s off.

What’s really impressive about this toaster is that, at about 60 years of age, it still works. I’ve had several pop-up toasters over the years, all of them now in a landfill somewhere.... *sigh*. If an element burns out, or a thermostat malfunctions, no one will even try to fix it because new toasters are so cheap... And they will always break down, so you will always have to buy a new one.

As we head into 2009, I am more and more mindful of my ecological footprint. So I’m quite thankful for my simple, ancient, fully-functional toaster. With luck, it will last another 60 years, and there will be one more thing in my life that I won’t have to throw away.

Happy New Year!


  1. First a blog....Raymond goes global....

  2. Hi Raymond, thoughtful first post.

    I wrote an article a while back on a self-claimed energy efficient toaster that was supposedly more efficient than regular pop-up toasters because it had louvers that closed above the opening to keep the heat in. I tried covering my own toaster with a cookie sheet while toasting and it did make a difference - about 20 seconds less time to toast. Of course the cookie sheet makes it hard for the toast to pop up, so you have to stand beside it while it toasts - much like your toaster, I guess.

    Your 60-year-old toaster incorporates that idea of keeping the heat in - you probably have one of the most energy efficient toasters around. The one I looked at actually turns out to be less efficient than a regular toaster because it draws 2 watts of power continuously to display a little LED light. Talk about dumb overdesign. And it has a motorized carriage which means more parts to break down.

    I vote for simplicity and longevity!

  3. Start a fire, poke a piece of bread on a stick, roast til done. Just an alternate...

    I'm one of Rand's blog readers. I love this post. You need to shake more out of your head.