Sometimes you find things in the most unexpected of places. While visiting a friend in Vermont I stopped in a small consignment store in the little town of White River Junction, Vermont (Pop. 2,286), and a box in the corner caught my eye. In it was an old stand mixer, and though it was covered in grime, nonfunctional, and lacking its beaters, I knew I had found a gem. So I paid the $10 and made off with my next project.
A thorough cleaning revealed it was in better shape than it first appeared, and it was only not working because one of the motor brushes had worked loose. But it was found in the box—along with a wonderful hand-stitched cozy of the type people made for their appliances in the 1940s.
The beaters posed another problem.
Though Hamilton-Beach still made beaters for the Model G mixer, the Model H used a different type, which of course had long since ceased production. Those known to fit the model H would occasionally pop up at auction for $50-60—far out of my price range. But, I thought, my time will come.
And that it did not more than a week later. Up for auction came a pair of beaters of unknown type; however, my careful eye quickly determined they were for the Model H! I placed my bid and waited….
…and won! No one else had dared take the chance. When they arrived, I took one last check, cleaned them, and popped them in. They worked!
A 1950s manual for the mixer was found some time later. Of course, I can’t help but wonder why so many appliances from that time period were painted almost entirely white, or chromed. In a time when food safety was a tremendous and real concern, did it embody sterilization and cleanliness? Freud should have had a field day.
The mixer still serves proudly in my kitchen today.