Glossary

 

Learn about various terms used to describe toaster specifications and features.

Do you know what a Percher is? It means the bread stands alone. But what does that mean? Stay tuned. Here is a glossary of terms related to toasters, along with some examples so you can speak like an expert. The following words and phrases are frequently used in toaster-collecting circles. It is not an all-inclusive list of terms but will give the novice collector a good head start when talking with other collectors.


Glossary:


Accessories:

Any items made for use with a toaster or when making toast. Tongs, butter-melters, toast-racks, toaster covers, etc.


Albert Marsh:

The inventor of nichrome wire. His patent was used by most early electric appliance manufacturers. Appliances using his wire were honored with the LMP cartouche. The cartouche was the three letters surrounded by a diamond LMP stands for -Licensed under Marsh Patents-. The symbol was used on toasters from 1915 to 1923. The Hoskins manufacturing company which employed Marsh and marketed his wire is still in business today selling nichrome wire.


Asbestos:

Frequently used as a fireproofing material until the mid-1970s, asbestos was used primarily as an insulation material around the internal wiring of the toaster. Asbestos was also used in cord sets and in some mid-century toaster elements.


Brillo marks:

Irreversible marks made on chrome, nickel or copper plating by over-zealous homemakers who used steel wool to remove baked-on crud from their toasters. Also referred to as Brilloing or Scoured.


Chrome plating:

The electrical deposition of Chromium onto another metal. Although most people think of all toasters as chrome plated. Early toasters were nickel plated. Also in the mid-fifties there was a brief fad for copper toasters.


Commercial Toaster:

Any large or heavy duty toaster made for use in a restaurant


Cord Set:

The removal power cord used in early electrical appliances.


Dropper:

A toaster where the toast drops out of the bottom of the toasting chamber upon completion of the toasting cycle. Also called a pop-down toaster.


Drive-thru:

A toaster where the bread is moved along a conveyor past the heating elements. The most common example of this toaster is the Toast-O-Lator made by Crocker Wheeler. See also Walk-Thru.


Element:

The assembly inside that toaster that includes the resistance wire. In most later toasters, the wire is supported by a panel made of mica, asbestos, or other heat-resistant material.


Fireplace Toaster:

Any toaster made for use in or near a fire place. See also, Primitive toaster.


Flat Bed:

A toaster where the bread is placed on a flat rack over the heating element. The best examples of this are the early Sunbeam toasters.


Flopper:

A toaster where the bread is place within a door assembly and toasts only one side at a time. Unlike a -pincher- type toaster, flopper doors are not usually spring-loaded and do not exert pressure against the toasting bread. Most flopper doors include a self-reversing feature that pushes the bottom of the bread away from the toasting chamber as the door is opened. This action turns the bread for continued toasting but does not require the cook to touch the toast.The self-reversing action was pioneered by the Copeman Automatic Toaster. This innovation helped make the flopper style toaster the most successful and therefore most commonly found non-pop-up toaster.


Hostess Set:

Generic term for the service sets sold with a toaster. Hostess sets were created to allow the host to bring the toaster out to their guests and allow them to prepare their own toast. These sets frequently included a large tray, toaster, one or more lap trays glassware for condiments, and a toast trimmer.


Hospitality Set:

Name-brand for hostess sets sold by Toastmaster. Toastmaster made sets from 1933 to 1954. Although the most prolific maker of hostess sets, Toastmaster was not the first. Cutler-Hammer offered a toaster-toast rack and tray set before 1920.


Mica:

Naturally forming mineral formed into panels and used to support the resistance wire.


Nichrome Wire:

Generic term for the resistance wire that makes electric toasting possible. Invented by Albert Marsh.


Nickel Plating:

The electrical deposition of nickel onto a metal surface. The earliest plating used on kitchen appliances.


Non-Automatic Toaster:

A toaster that has the appearance of a pop-up toaster but does not automatically pop-up following the toasting cycle.


Octoasterfest:

Annual convention of the Toaster Collectors Association held in various cities around the country. Usually held in October. See also “Toasterpalooza”.


Percher:

The earliest form electric toaster - it has no moving parts. Bread is placed on a “perch” along side the toasting elements. Once one side of the bread was toasted the cook had to manually turn the bread to toast the other side.


Pincher:

Early toaster type where the bread is held up to the toasting elements by spring-loaded doors. Like the Percher, half-toasted bread had to be turned manually by the cook.  Pinchers were made up until the late 1920s


Pitting:

Deterioration of the plating on an appliance that takes the form of small specks of corrosion (rust) on the surface of the toaster.


Porcelain:

Generic term for any toaster  predominantly made of porcelain.  The three most commonly seen porcelains are made by Pan Electric, Porcelier and the early General Electric (D-12 series).


Pop-up:

Any toaster in which the toast automatically pops-up at the completion of the toasting cycle. The first pop-up toaster was the “Toastmaster” 8-slice commercial toaster of 1921. This was the first electric toaster to be controlled with a timer. The Toastmaster was invented by Charles Strite. Five years later in 1926 Strite and the Waters-Genter company marketed the Toastmaster 1A-1 pop-up toaster for the residential market. The pop-up gained popularity until World War 2 but did not displace the flopper as the most preferred toaster until after the war.


Primitive Toaster:

General term for any non-electric toaster. Fireplace toasters and Stove-top toasters make up the greater part of this category.

 

Proto-Toaster:

An early electric toaster that doesn’t easily fit into one of the other toaster categories. Used in the Fisher (later– Hazelcorn) book.

 

Restaurant Toaster:

A large heavy toaster made for high production in a commercial environment.


Sandwich Grill:

An electric appliance with smooth flat cooking surface used for grilling sandwiches.  Sandwich grills are not actually toasters although it is easy to associate them with toast and the toasting process. Early grilles were used stand-alone appliances. Later they were provided with reversible plates to convert the appliance into a waffle iron.


Side-by-Side Toaster:

A toaster where the bread is positioned end to end in a long slot.These are somewhat unusual, with only 3 or 4 manufacturers having produced a model with this toasting configuration.

Sidewinder:

A toaster where the toast is held in baskets which are turned on a horizontal axis.  This is a relatively rare style.


Socket set:

A cord set for use with a lamp socket where a lamp socket instead of a two or three prong plug.

 

Stove top:

A non-electric toaster made to be used on a  stove. Later these design were marketed for use on a campfire.

 

Swinger:

A toaster with baskets that pivot on a vertical axis.


Table Stove:

An electric stove designed for use at the dining room table.  Later table stoves were multi-function with the ability to cook up to three things at once.


TCA:

The Toaster Collectors Association.


T-Ho:

A toaster collector who will resort to almost anything to get the toaster they want.


Toast Trimmer:

Part of a hostess set used for trimming toast. Unlike other components which were useful beyond their role in the hostess set, trimmers were frequently discarded due to their lack of usefulness. When missing from the hostess set they can be very difficult to replace. 


Toasterpalooza:

See Octoasterfest.


Triple Plating:

Consider the ultimate metal finish for kitchen appliances, triple plating starts with nickel-plating and then adds copper-plating and finally chrome-plating.


Turner:

A toaster where the toast baskets turn vertically on a hinge assembly.