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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 23rd Nov 2020, 7:18 pm   #41
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Crumbs! Toast the vintage way

Our 1990s toaster is unusual in that it doesn't have the exposed elements, but glass covered 'bars' as used on many electric fires. It doesn't get a fat lot of use these days as low carb bread doesn't toast particularly well, though I am tempted to give it a run this evening after all of this toast talk. It's a great design as it has really long slots that can take two normal slices side by side, and can take quite thick slices too. It has two of these long slots and a 1 or 2 slot switch. Biggest bugbear is using both slots and forgetting to switch the second slot on, which results in 2 pieces nicely toasted, and 2 done one side only (the centre heater is used when one slot toasting). Rescuing one side done toast is hard without overdoing the already toasted side!
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Old 23rd Nov 2020, 7:28 pm   #42
turretslug
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Default Re: Crumbs! Toast the vintage way

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Originally Posted by Paul_RK View Post
Very generously rated for any vintage two-slice toaster - my anonymous boxed example in the photos above has no indication of rating, but a '40s Rowlett here is 450W, and a '30s Magnet (GEC) 600W, a popular choice back then to allow connection to the lighting circuit.
Thanks for pointing that out Paul- I was somewhat misled by the fierce-looking glow in Steve's photo, possibly the camera sensor was enthused by the far-red spectrum! Now that I've looked closer, I see that it's rated at 500W,

Colin
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Old 23rd Nov 2020, 8:55 pm   #43
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Default Re: Crumbs! Toast the vintage way

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When my present (old) toaster gave up the ghost I nearly- very nearly - found myself weighing up the merits of the various current models on offer in my local Tesco. However, having come to my senses, a brief dalliance online was enough to net myself something a little sturdier in the shape of a nice old Swan model, 'untested' for a tenner. Not a lot to go wrong with these! Once the original fossilized mains cable and round-pin plug had been replaced with a more modern arrangement, it was up and running for the first time in many years I should think.

The modern flex is only a temporary arrangement- although I've struggled to find the traditional black/white flecked 'iron' flex in local hardware shops in recent years. I wonder if it's now extinct?

Steve
lethal but gorgeous
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Old 23rd Nov 2020, 9:18 pm   #44
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Crumbs! Toast the vintage way

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Originally Posted by duncanlowe View Post
Rescuing one side done toast is hard without overdoing the already toasted side!
Surely, just turn it round and put it back into the same slot with only one element on.
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Old 23rd Nov 2020, 9:27 pm   #45
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Crumbs! Toast the vintage way

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Quote:
Originally Posted by duncanlowe View Post
Rescuing one side done toast is hard without overdoing the already toasted side!
Surely, just turn it round and put it back into the same slot with only one element on.
You know, I always discounted that as a waste of electricity. But of course it wouldn't have been!

My one piece of toasted low carb bread, was done fine this evening and tasted rathe good, considering!
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 12:56 am   #46
hamid_1
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Default Re: Crumbs! Toast the vintage way

I also have a small collection of vintage electric toasters. It's interesting to see how they've evolved over the decades.

The first toaster in our family was a Morphy-Richards TU1D pop-up model in Primrose Yellow. This lasted from the early 1960s to the late 1970s when it failed to pop up and caught fire

The TU1D was replaced by a Russell Hobbs 5503 pop-sideways toaster with a colourful poppy design. The unique pop-sideways feature claimed to hand the toast to you when it was ready, but it could be a bit violent and throw the toast across the room sometimes. Great fun though. I still have this toaster, in the family since new, but it no longer works properly. A wire broke off the bimetallic strip. I soldered it back on, but the strip becomes hot enough to eventually melt the solder and it broke again. I need to think of another solution.

As a family, we always had automatic toasters, so I was intrigued by the concept of manual ones that you had to watch and flip the bread over yourself. More than 10 years ago, I bought a Swan Brand toaster from a car boot sale exactly like Steve's in post #1. I had seen these in antique shops from time to time, but this one at the car boot sale was being offered very cheap (it can't have been more than a pound or two) so I snapped it up and took it home. On closer inspection, there was a break in the element and the mains lead had crumbling rubber insulation, which meant it was unusable. I kept it as an ornament, but after a few years of looking at it folornly sitting there, I decided to bring it back to life by fitting a new (modern plastic) mains lead. Then I repaired the break in the element by twisting the wires together. Amazingly it worked! There is a hot spot visible where the wires have been twisted together (look near the top of the photo), though the repair has held out thus far.

Another thing you'll notice with these toasters is that the bread is at an angle. It's closer to the top of the element and further away at the bottom. To compensate for this, the turns of resistance wire are wound more densely at the bottom of the element panel, to deliver more heat there and ensure even toasting.

Around 2014 I came across another vintage Hotpoint cat. no. 808 53 electric toaster at a car boot sale. It was ridiculously cheap - the seller didn't even know what it was. This one is unusual - it has glass doors so you can see inside. This sounds like a great idea, but you can't actually see if your toast is ready or not without opening the door. I'm guessing it dates from the 1930s - 1940s.

To complete my collection I bought another Morphy-Richards TU1D in yellow from a local secondhand shop, just like the one our family used to have. That one still appears to work. (I haven't posted a picture).

Finally I have a Tefal Thick-N-Thin toaster I bought new in 1990 which counts as vintage now. The elements are encased in silica tubes, like the Dimplex radiant bar heaters sometimes found in bathrooms. And I have a more modern Hinari Lifestyle toaster oven with mechanical clockwork timer, just visible in the background of one of my photos. It's about half the size of a microwave oven and of similar appearance, but it cooks by conventional radiant heat like an ordinary oven or grill - it's not a microwave. That design has been popular in the USA and Canada for decades, yet strangely it hasn't caught on in a big way over here. I wonder why not.
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Old 26th Nov 2020, 10:12 pm   #47
Colourstar
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Default Re: Crumbs! Toast the vintage way

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Originally Posted by hamid_1 View Post
Another thing you'll notice with these toasters is that the bread is at an angle. It's closer to the top of the element and further away at the bottom. To compensate for this, the turns of resistance wire are wound more densely at the bottom of the element panel, to deliver more heat there and ensure even toasting.
D'you know I didn't notice that until you pointed it out Hamid. Thanks! That makes a lot of sense, although mine still tends to burn the bread at the top before the bottom is done! All part of the charm (I think ) EDIT: Having looked again at the photo of mine in post #1, the elements are wound less densely in the middle, but are closer together again at the top!

Nice collection too- there are some really interesting models out there, and of course you can never have too many....

Steve

Last edited by Colourstar; 26th Nov 2020 at 10:18 pm.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 12:31 pm   #48
Brigham
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Default Re: Crumbs! Toast the vintage way

Mine's a Hotpoint.
600W, glass sides, and it turns the slice automatically when you open the door.
Luxury!
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