The History of Toaster Ovens

History of Toaster Ovens

Have you ever looked at the toaster oven in your kitchen and wondered about its origin? Well, this appliance has become one of the integral tools in any home, and has evolved from a simple, single unit to an appliance serving various purposes. This appliance comes in various brands, each brand with its own specification. So, when did the toaster come into being and what changes has it gone through to give you the final product?

200 years ago, man could toast bread by placing it between a pair of metal frames and holding the ensemble over a fire to heat it. The metal frames were consequently held in place by a stick or a long knife. Something had to be done.

1910 – The Birth of the Idea

The idea of the toaster oven came to front in the mid-nineteenth century and borrowed on the idea of the electric toaster. Building on this idea, William Hadaway built the first oven toaster in 1910 for his client, the Westinghouse Corporation. The idea was accidental, having been a way to create a stove from materials remaining over from electric stove manufacture.

1919 – Time for the Pop Up

The model of the toaster common today is called the pop-up toaster. This idea came into being in 1919. Before this, users had to turn the bread manually during the roasting process. Charles Strite came up with the idea of the bread popping up, a task implemented together with Waters Genter Company. The first model to make use of the pop up technology was launched on the market in 1926.

1936 – 1961: More Innovative Changes

In 1936, a company came up with a toaster complete with a pneumatic shock absorber, which made sure the toasting operation was quiter and smoother. The first toaster to work with the “self-lowering” technology saw the light of day in 1950. This model came complete with an improved timer to reduce on power surges

1971 – 1978: Different Finishes Are Introduced

Initially, these appliances came in woodgrain and painted finishes, which had become more and more popular. 1971 saw the introduction of decorative finishes that made the toaster oven more fashion-oriented. However, chrome still remained the most popular finish, but some ovens came with decorative front panels.

1978 saw the introduction of the double-slice toaster.

This toaster went on to become one of America’s most popular toaster models.

1985 – 1996: Accelerated Changes in Design

To take care of limited space, the first under-cabinet toaster came into being in 1985. Shortly after in 1990, the first cool touch toaster came onto the fore.


Decades later, you now buy ovens that have advanced features and better performance. Toasters today use horizontal filaments unlike the vertical ones. You can as well reheat your bread without burning it. You have a chance to choose from a host of brands, each with different functions. The toaster today has larger slots to allow you to toast all manner of foods. A number of settings give you the ability to define the temperature. Some toasters even provide 4 slots to toast more slices of bread.