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The concept of waffle irons has been around since the fourteenth century. Waffles have been an important part of several cultures - in the United States and Belgium as a breakfast food or dessert, as the stroopwafel in the Netherlands, with peanut butter in Japan, and shaped like a heart in the Scandinavian region. In 1869, American Cornelius Swarthout patented his version of the stovetop waffle iron, and in 1911, General Electric manufactured the first electric countertop version. This particular waffle iron, produced sometime between 1923 and 1927, was a product of Landers, Frary & Clark. Landers, Frary & Clark was a manufacturing company begun in New Britain, Connecticut, in 1862 by George M. Landers. From its beginning, the company’s goal was to create goods that could make life easier for housewives in America. Before the advent of electricity, these included items such as cake mixers, coffee pots, and tableware. Once electricity became commonplace, Landers, Frary & Clark produced electric irons, toasters, and waffle irons like this one, many marketed under the Universal brand name. Landers, Frary & Clark ceased to exist in 1965 when it was bought out by General Electric. This model of the electric waffle iron is rectangular in shape, standing on four legs. It is just over a foot tall, and it includes a thick black cord that plugs into both the top and bottom halves of the iron. The black handle allows for easy and safe opening. Donated by Kenn Spencer, the waffle iron can currently be found in the “E is for Electricity” display at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.Jessica Vos, 11/11/2017

Food ➔ Waffle Iron

1923 – 1927
Current Location Status:
On Exhibit
Gift Of Spencer, Kenn
E is for Electricity ()
Landers, Frary And Clark

Spencer, Kenn