Toaster Ovens

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.

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Toaster Ovens

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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 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. It continued in production until 1969. There was also the larger Redi-Oven, which follows this entry.

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Knapp-Monarch Redi-Oven

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.

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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.

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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.

12 Responses to Toaster Ovens

  1. Cris Bontrager says:

    Interesting blog!
    My mother gave me a toaster oven, after I was out of college and starting out “on my own”, that I think was the (beautiful!) T93B model that you show. Best toaster oven I’ve ever seen. Versatile, easy to use, and well thought out design, in my opinion. Even for just toasting, I liked it better than conventional toasters.
    I used it well for a number of years, but in one of my (many) moves, it disappeared. I have been looking for another like it at garage sales and auctions, without success.
    Do you have any ideas where I might find another one, or can you connect me to anyone that might be trying or willing to sell theirs?
    Thank you for any help or direction or advice you might give.

  2. bryan says:

    Do you know where I could purchase the transitional open toaster oven that you say was awkward to use,Or it’s model number?I had one as a kid. There wasn’t anything awkward about it. You put one or two slices of bread in it and pushed the button down. It is the eleventh picture up from the bottom.Thanks

    • asenjigal says:

      The awkward part is getting the toast out without burning fingers. You can, with care, use bamboo tongs but too many people tried using a fork, with occasional disastrous results.
      They occasionally show up on eBay but are usually in questionable condition.
      Cyber Toaster Museum.
      See a photo of it and the model number.

  3. Karl says:

    The Redi-Oven is a humdinger. I got a crisp one at a country auction for $1 and used it as my oven where I lived for years a decade ago. It worked perfectly, was just the right size for two people and (I thought) it was economical to use. I think it’s still being used by the current occupant.

    That ‘first’ GE toaster oven shown is something I acquired last summer. I think it looks like a tank – but it’s fun to use.

    Yesterday I acquired a NOS Toastmaster DeLuxe Broiler-Oven Model 5240 that looks like it will bake up a storm. One needs to have a lot of counter space to give it a suitable home. I can find nothing on the Internet about this model. I just wonder when it was made.

    Yesterday I also got an old G.E. Hotpoint Percolator and the main body is perfectly round. The handle is wooden. The ‘barn scum’ cleaned off very nicely. Thus far I’ve not found a picture of one like it on the Internet.

    • asenjigal says:

      If it is similar to the one shown on this page
      It was made in the late 80s to early 90s. Toastmaster continued to manufacture the same appliances but changed their model numbers in the mid ’90s (I think, not sure exactly).

      The GE “Hotpoint” appliances were considered top of the line and are very hardy.
      They manufactured a lot of percolators and I have seen many on eBay.
      If it was made prior to 1960, it probably has a removable base plate so the electrical components could be repaired or the rheostat adjusted if it wasn’t heating correctly.
      At that time, appliances were still intended to last for many years and there were any number of “small appliance repair” shops that could fix them.
      Sad that we have reached a time when everything seems to be “throwaway” and not intended to last.

    • anitaw says:

      I have a Toastmaster Model 5240 I bought in a thrift store in the late 1980s.
      I’ve been using it since and it still works great. In trying to find more info about it I ran across a copy of an ad for one from 1969, so if yours looks like the one in the ad (mine does) it’s probably late 1960s vintage. Sorry I don’t know how to post a link, but the URL for the ad is http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=888&dat=19690508&id=tktSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yHsDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4471,5410079 (just copy and paste into your browser).

  4. Peter G. says:

    I love this blog, collecting old toasters is one of my hobbies because I have my personal reason why I started collecting them :)

  5. Patricia says:

    I LOVE toaster ovens they are perfect and an essential item for a single person. Yes sometimes I use the microwave but I use my toaster oven a lot more. Your captcha code really had me thinking. I guess that says a lot about my math skills.
    - Patricia -

  6. Just a cool oven, i cant miss to acquire one for my family.

  7. Rodney Golden says:

    SUPERB blog! The information and photos on the Knapp-Monarch products was a SLAM DUNK! The K-M Redi-Oven (of which I have two, purchased over a 5 year span on ebay) have now been completely outfitted, in terms of supporting documentation/paperwork and even a picture of the original box! (all of which I have never seen, except maybe as a child in the Thalhimer’s Dept. store in Richmond, VA. many years ago (1960-70) . I also have a Redi-Matic toaster, luckily. The numerous tags showing K-M’s marketing in past years is a TREASURE to me, and they make my purchase of the vintage K-M appliances in recent years all the MORE gratifying. Thanks!

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