Until the start of the 20th century,
toasting was carried out by holding the bread on a long fork over
an open fire. The first electric toaster was released by the
General Electric Company in the United States in 1909. The early
toasters did not have a thermostat and the toast was often burnt.
The problem was eased in 1919 when Charles Strite from Minnesota
in the United States developed the pop-up toaster as we know it
today. It was first sold in the USA in 1926.
Brands and Style's of toaster design come and go but one
company seems to have it right. The Australian Sunbeam Toastamatic
was first produced in the early 1960's. Featuring automatic
lowering and raising of the bread, its classic design was sold
until the 1980s. Today's market demand for retro toasters with
many features has prompted Sunbeam to reproduce the Toastamatic,
today's unit is very similar to the first ones sold in 1960. In
the USA Sunbeam had a similar success story, their T-20 toaster
was produced from 1949 relatively unchanged until 1996.