Above, a "Universal" cake maker in my parents' possession. Below, a later "Universal" food chopper I picked up somewhere:
The company officially began in 1853, when a young George Landers bought out his late employer's business in New Britain, Connecticut, changing the name to Landers & Smith. In 1862, they acquired the Frary, Clark & Company of Meriden, Connecticut, and the company took the combined name that it would use for the next century. The firm began producing bread makers, food choppers and percolators, and with these domestic offerings it prospered, eventually transitioning to electrical kitchen appliances. Beginning in the late 1950's, the company found itself in the cross-hairs of investors and development bankers, with controlling interest being acquired by a large pharmaceutical company in 1961. Landers, Frary & Clark closed its doors in 1965, selling off its "Universal" trademark and assets to GE's Houseware's Division.
To learn more, and to see some of the many products that once flowed out of this industrial powerhouse, take the New Britain Industrial Museum Virtual Tour.