Nostalgia – Old Time TV’s and Toasters

In the early 1950’s, the neighbours next door drove to the city to buy a Toaster. They came home with a Television instead. It turned out they didn’t have enough money to buy the toaster, and the appliance store wouldn’t let them pay for it in installments. They could, however, buy a TV in installments…

The new TV made the neighbours the most popular people in town. I remember watching Howdy Doody and the Ed Sullivan Show in their living room. A few years later, we had a TV too. I came to think of it as the family pet. It had spidery legs holding it up, and rabbit ears on top.

Many, many years and a few televisions later, we moved into a house with a Satellite Dish! It was a very large thing that took up a fair chunk of real estate, and the program choices weren’t really worth what the service cost. We contracted an installer to put a TV antenna on the roof, instead, and contented ourselves with the local broadcasts.  Ten years later, the same installer was back at our house, this time with a much smaller satellite dish and a wealth of program choices. Another ten years passed, and the same installer was back  with a new dish for HD TV. We joked with him about what kind of technology he would be delivering to our house twenty years from now. “None,” he said. “I’ll probably be dead.”

Back to toasters. We didn’t have a toaster when I was a kid. We couldn’t afford butter, either. We had margarine that came with a coloring pack, so that you could make the white margarine at least look like butter – sort of. But even if we had been able to make toast, the bread at our house was a mass produced bland brand that was delivered door to door in a bread truck. But my grandmother had a toaster, wonderful bread from  the Loblaws bakery, and real butter. When we stayed at her house, our bedtime snack was toast and butter.

1947 Toastmaster toaster model 1B12

Her toaster was a Toastmaster model 1B12. I know this, because it is my toaster now. It has been making toast for 3 generations of our family since it was manufactured sometime between September 1946 and July 1947. I’ve never had to have it repaired. It just keeps making toast.

I’ll have to think for a while to see if there is some great life lesson in this story. Or a social commentary about technology, or modern manufacturing…

When I was a kid… no, wait, I still do that…
– Author Unknown –