Downton Abbey

A few of us here at Paper Shop were pretty excited about being plunged into antiquity last night – 1922, to be exact. If you’re a fan of PBS’s Downton Abbey, you’re in good company; a number of us in this office tune in every Sunday night.

One of the rather interesting themes going into Season 4 is the notion of industrialization in both big ways and small, and last night brought a minor subplot involving an electric mixer. While some of the downstairs staff were eager use the new invention, others found it frightening (a rather common reaction at the time to a number of electrically powered items).

That electric mixer reminded us of a local connection to an orchestra, an inventor, and a small kitchen appliance that become rather indispensable: the blender. While the blender was invented in 1922, a fellow named Fred Osius fine-tuned the idea and introduced the famous Waring blender in 1935. And the development of that blender was funded by Fred Waring, a central Pennsylvania native and leader of the then-famous band, “Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians”. Fred’s lifelong interest in gadgets made him both a willing investor and a very effective marketer for the new appliance that bore his name.

You can still find Waring blenders, quite often in our pages. You’ll also find food processors, juicers and mixers (ones that are a lot more advanced and a lot less intimidating than the one that terrified poor Mrs. Patmore). Look in Appliances and Miscellaneous Household to find whatever you need to staff your kitchen.