Why today’s toasters still can’t compete with a model launched in 1949

If you’re in the market for the perfect toaster, The Verge’s Sean Hollister contends that Sunbeam’s control toaster has few, if any, contemporary rivals. And it launched in 1949. Its sorcery lies in its inner mechanics. Put a slice of bread—room temp, refrigerated, or frozen—into the toaster, and a series of levers is triggered, allowing the appliance to lower and raise two slices of bread on its own (Look, ma! No hands!). Inside is a mechanical thermostat that stops the bread from toasting when it’s just right, no guesstimating involved. The smart toaster does have its limits, of course. You’re not going to fit thick or long pieces of bread in there, and toasting bagels doesn’t usually yield success, as the thermostat takes aim at the center of pieces of bread. But when it works, Hollister opines, it’s pure magic. The vintage toasters can still be found on eBay, though they may require a bit of tinkering to bring them up to date. Otherwise, your bread may not be the only thing getting zapped!
Safiya Charles

The Counter Stories by our editors.