So Minnesota: Stillwater is the birthplace of the toaster

Joe Mazan
Updated: February 15, 2021 10:28 PM
Created: February 11, 2021 04:01 PM

A common appliance found in kitchens around the world was actually born in Stillwater.

While working at a Stillwater factory in 1919, machinist Charles Strite was tired of getting burnt toast in the company cafeteria. Back then, you could only toast bread on one side at a time and needed to stand close by to make sure it didn't burn. Strite went to the drawing board designing a toaster with springs and a timer. Bread would automatically pop up when toasted.

"He said what would happen if we put little channels in there with a timer so that people can walk away and the bread would toast and pop right up, and you wouldn't have to worry about it,"  Brent Peterson with Washington County Historical Society said. "It was a one slice toaster, a two-slice toaster with adjustment for the darkness of the bread timer like the original ones, and it looks a lot like the toasters we have today."

A few years later, Strite sold the rights to a company that would become Toastmaster.

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