I only have a few of these as I never actually “collected” them. I purchased a couple because they were still in their original boxes and had never been used.
Toaster ovens are not really new. Some of the early table top “stoves” in the 1920s had what was essentially a toaster “oven” – a drawer in which one could toast bread or bake biscuits. The top was a hot plate for making coffee or frying meat and/or eggs.
This design was mostly abandoned as the slot type toasters became more popular but from time to time a type of toaster with this option would appear on the market, but with little appreciation from the consumer.
The toaster oven as we know it today began to appear in the 1960s, although the first ones were chancy to use, the temperature controls were erratic and there was no timer or automatic shut-off.
The first truly “automatic” toaster oven was developed by GE and it remained on the market for two decades. Their first version was a regular toaster with a slot on top and a drawer at the bottom but the size was inadequate. Although, many people liked it and kept it for many years as it was a workhorse and very well made.
Then the upgraded model appeared and in my opinion this was the best toaster oven ever made.
It was fully automatic, the door opened and the shelf extended outward when the toasting/baking cycle finished. I bought one and used it for many years, bought another to replace it and so on. I did try one or two others but was unsatisfied.
The GE was more expensive than those of other manufacturers but because they lasted, they were well worth the price.
I still have one that I have been using for at least a dozen years and I have a new one still in the original box, as a just-in-case backup.
Knapp-Monarch Biscuit Baker
This Knapp-Monarch “Biscuit Baker” is a very interesting example of a dedicated tabletop baking appliance.
It has never been used, has its original cord in perfect condition and even has the spatula that came with it. The biscuit cutter was missing. This one was made in the late 1940s and early 1950s and over the following few years morphed into the Knapp-Monarch Redi-Baker, retaining the same size but acquiring a more accurate heat control. The Redi-Baker continued in production until 1969. There was also the larger Redi-Oven, which follows this entry.
This toaster oven was made in the late 1960s, before the company was acquired by theHoover Co. in 1969. Knapp-Monarch manufactured both low priced appliances, often sold through department stores and other retailers and some higher priced “premium” appliances with the “Gold Crown” designation. The company operated in St. Louis, Missouri. After the Hoover acquisition, the small appliances carried the Hoover name and from time to time one will turn up but they are rare as the small appliance line did well only for a couple of years and then was slowly cut back beginning in 1974 and that division was sold in 1977.
There was just so much competition in the small appliance market during those years and a new product name, not readily recognizable as was Knapp-Monarch, it could not compete with GE, Sunbeam, Toastmaster, Dominion, Westinghouse and the store brands such as Kenmore, Signature (Montgomery Ward) and others.
This one is new, never used, in its original box with the original documentation.
It is larger than the Redi-Baker, originally called the Biscuit Baker and shown above.
The Redi-Oven came with a non-stick pan to be used with wet foods, while the tray itself was okay for roasting potatoes, baking biscuits and rolls, and would hold a pie plate or cake pan.
General Electric Toaster and Oven
This is the first GE Toaster “Oven” as it has both a single long slot at the top for toast and a drawer at the bottom that was the “oven” part. The controls were easy to read but this was an expensive toaster, because of the additional functions and was not in production for a long time but was popular with those who purchased it. I have heard from several people who kept them in use for many years. I’ve also heard from people who remember them with fondness from their childhood.
This is a transitional open toaster oven made by GE. It was awkward to use and was soon discontinued. It is model # T36A, Made in Canada. Canadian General Electric Co. LTD. Barrie, Ontario.
General Electric Automatic Toaster Oven T 93 B
This is one of my favorite appliances. This one is new, never used and in its original box with all the original documentation and the buyer’s registration card.
It has an accessory tray for baking anything that might drip, such as cheese sandwiches, frozen entrees, etc.
It was not as deep as other toaster ovens – the actual footprint was not much larger than a regular 4-slice toaster so it took up much less room on a counter.
The controls were specific for using as an oven and as a toaster. It was perfect for preparing mini pizzas using English muffins and my first one produced a huge number over the years while the kids were still at home.