I’ve been studying US patents for kitchenware trying to grasp why some items have survived unchanged since their inception and other items fall away. Which gives me a great excuse to BUY more things, breaking my personal rule about having duplicate items which perform the same function. Leading me straight to the decision of ‘which more »

I have been wondering what to do about vessels where the cracks go all the way through to the inside.  So I am running an experiment on this Vintage bean pot.   Burnham and Morrill, of B&M baked beans, used to sell their beans in grocery stores in crocks; eventually switching to cans, though they do more »

The story goes that the canned food was invented in 1770s and the can opener didn’t arrive until 1855.   Starting out as just a claw, the shape was improved and the can guard was added quickly by other inventors. The rotating wheel opener was invented in the 1870s and itself underwent multiple revisions.    But more »

I bought this 1984 SteelBelted Cooler new and since then it has accumulated a lot of mileage.  The dents and rust are part of its character and don’t affect its function.  On other coolers of this type I have replaced the hinges and handles, even replacement locking mechanisms are available on ebay and from the more »


While crawling around the chafing dish rabbit hole, I stumbled over something I had never seen before. In the chapter on chafing dish cooking in Fammie Farmer’s 1896 edition of the Boston Cooking School Cook Book, she makes a throwaway mention: ” The Davy Toaster may be used over the chafing dish for toasting and more »

My friend Don Lindgren from Rabelais – Fine Books on Food & Drink made an offhanded comment in conversation about why chaffing dishes and their attendent cookbooks were so popular from about 1880s – 1920s or so.  Basically the US population had begun migrating from central family structures into the cities where the college dorms, rooming more »

Tea and Toast Picnic

After a long summer with no road tripping, I broke out my picnic kit anyway.  The new old sterno stove works well with my alcohol stove.    My GSI Toaster also works great.   GSI Folding Toaster  Coghlan’s Folding Camp Stove Brass Alcohol Stove

This 8″x8″ folding stove caught my attention. It has a brass plate on it from S. Sternau & Co. NY, Sterno Canned Heat Kitchenette No. 4041. and the upper range for it seems to date from 1917/18, but I can’t seem to find an exact date for it. It is in terribly good condition, but more »

I simply can’t remember where I found this charming little bread knife…though know I didn’t pay much for it. I can’t pin down the exact date, but I am pretty certain it’s at least 100 years old. The remarkable thing is that the bolster and blade are still tight in the handle. It was also more »