These “Little Mixers” were self-contained for beating a few eggs, milkshakes, blending flour into liquid for gravies, blending pudding ingredients, etc.
They were never intended to take the place of a stand mixer in a normally appointed kitchen but rather for use in the small “kitchenettes” that were often included in small “efficiency” apartments or “rooms” when the rooming house did not provide meals. Sometimes they were used in regular kitchens by homemakers who only needed to whip a few eggs or egg whites or otherwise use instead of a whisk or manual eggbeater. They had their own container, usually quite heavy glass, to counter the weight of the motor unit.
It is to be noted that many of the early “stand” mixers had handles so they could be hand-held for use in pots or containers instead of the bowls they came with, but they were often heavy and awkward to hold securely. These small mixers fit into that “specialized” category of being easy to use, not taking up much room and relatively easy to clean.
The various styles reflect the eras in which they were produced. Many display the Art Deco styling so popular in the 1920s and ’30s. Later hand-held mixers show the futuristic styling of the late ’40s and ’50s with the “streamline” shapes – and even tail fins…
This is the Regent hand-held mixer, chrome with tail fins. Just sold on ebay. Quite heavy for its size. Also a bit more powerful than the earlier little mixers.