Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Toasters, the last 65 years of progress

65 years ago my father brought home a new GE two slice pop up toaster.  It toasted  for my family, my grandmother's family, my brother's family, and was turning out beautiful golden brown toast up until last year.  At which point one heating element opened up and went dark.  I took it apart and spliced the nichrome wire with a bit of brass tubing crimped with vicegrips.  That kept her going for another year, when another heating element died.  I couldn't fix that one.  So ho, off to Wally Mart and a brand new Black and Decker toaster.
   Well, it came in a nice Ferrari Racing Red plastic case and it had bigger toast slots that could accept that big country white bread, and bagels.  Had a special button for bagels, and another for "frozen". Trouble is, the damn thing stopped toasting over Christmas, when I had five house guests up for Christmas.  Service life less than half a year, as opposed to the GE which lasted 65 years. 
   Since it was still shiny and new, I took it apart.  Problem was the toaster tray hold down.  Magnetic it was, an electro magnet on a PC board pulled on a steel lug on the pop up mechanism.  One, just one toast crumb had fallen on, and stuck to, the magnet pole piece and prevented the magnet from sucking hard enough on the steel lug to keep the handle down.  A pass with the shop vac got the crumbs under control, and a wipe with a rag got the stickum off, and it worked on the bench.  It even worked after I replaced the cover.  We shall see how long it lasts.  It is in a benign environment, no small children, just me using it. 
   Wanna bet it doesn't last for 65 years?  GE never should have sold it's small appliance division to Black and Decker.

No comments: