Monday, April 7, 2014

Pennsylvania Aircraft Works Pop-Down Toaster

I photographed this at a thrift store in Belleville.  It's a Penn-Air (Delta), Pennsylvania Aircraft Works, Model 280 pop-down automatic toaster, made in Winnipeg by A.B.C. Electric Limited (which has vanished without a trace).  The design for the toaster was patented by Fred Bertino in 1950:

In the early days of automatic toaster development, "pop up" toasters competed with the alternate "pop down" technology.  In the latter, toast dropped out the bottom, rather than popping up from the top.  We all know who won this war.

The Delta Manufacturing Corporation was a 1948 spin-off from the Pennsylvania Aircraft Works, which actually did make aircraft.  In combination with Management and Research Incorporated, they built the experimental, tail-less Tuscar H-71 in the late 30's: 

Century of Flight
Delaware County Daily Times,  June 24, 1970

After World War II, such industries had to find ways to re-tool for the civilian market or go under.  The badge indicates that their products were made in Canada by the aforementioned A.B.C. Electric Limited.  As for the Pennsylvania Aircraft Works, all was not well.  In October, 1947, two New York executives (the general manager and the secretary-treasurer) of the company were charged with using the mails to fraudulently obtain over $100,000 from jobbers, end retailers, a bank and another company.  I haven't been able to find out how this turned out.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So happy I found this toaster again. Not ours. Because we carved our name HIRT on the bottom. It was my great grandmothers and became ours in the early 60's. But when I saw it first in 1953. I thought it was the most beautiful toaster I had ever seen.Most of the time the toast didn't stop where it was supposed to and continued across the table!!