The blender is a common household appliance with a long and varied history. Though the exact origins of the blender are unknown, it is thought to have originated in the early 20th century.
When Were Blenders Invented?
The blender was invented in 1922 by Stephen Poplawski. For years, a kitchen staple, blenders are now used to make everything from cocktails and ice cream to baby food!
He used his new invention to make soda fountain drinks. This initial “blender” drew the interest of another inventor, Fred Osius, who decided to see what improvements he could make to it.
Fred Osius made some changes, and from his design, the Waring blender was created in 1933. Fred Waring was a former Penn State student in architecture and engineering, and he was a man of many talents. He made his money fronting a band called Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. Since Fred Osius knew Waring had a love for gadgets and new inventions, he was able to convince him to financially back the project, hence the name Waring blender.
After six months of work and redesign, the blender ran into technical difficulties. So Waring gave Osius the old heave-ho, redesigned the blender himself, and started marketing it under the Waring Company’s name.
He would take his blenders to stores, hotels, and restaurants while he was on the road with his band. Although he was confident that his blender would “revolutionize American drinks,” I think even he would be surprised at how far blenders have come over the years.
What happened to good old Fred?
After his failed attempt with the Waring blender, Fred Osius still had his hand in the blender industry. He was one of three men behind the Hamilton Beach name, and we all know that they’ve made some great kitchen appliances over the years.
Along with the stand-alone blender, handheld or immersion blenders are also to think of. Immersion blenders (or Bamix as they were first called) were first patented in Switzerland by Roger Perrinjaquet in 1950. Perrinjaquet sold the patent to ESGE Ltd, a company that started production on the design and ran about 250 units a day.
Today they make around 2000 per day, and although the company changed ownership a few times over the years, the main concept has remained the same.
Immersion blenders were used in Europe initially and by chefs who wanted to save time by blending soup in the pot. Older immersion blenders were made with a wand of up to two feet high!
Thankfully, the wands on these blender models currently only measure about 10-12 inches. Their popularity grew when they were introduced to the United States in the 1980s. Bamix or immersion blenders are now available in over 25 countries.
These handheld blenders still have mixed reviews because the blade is easily reachable by a bare hand. I have yet to blend a finger, but I have heard some horror stories. Just make sure to use them correctly, and you’ll find the immersion blender great for blending sauces and soups right in the pot or container you are cooking in.
Development of the blender
The containers now come in plastic, glass, or stainless steel with a base to match your current kitchen decor. Their design is very sleek, and I know mine fits easily into my cupboard. Blenders also come with many different options such as speed, a heating function, and other attachments, making them multi-use.
Depending on what you will be using your blender for, there are different speed options. Blenders can have from 2 up to 22 speeds and be much quieter than they used to be. So if you’re like me and only use it for shakes and smoothies, you don’t have to buy the most powerful one available.
But if you are a blender fan who likes to crush nuts, ice, or even coffee, there are some amazing ones with powerful and high-speed motors like the newest Blendtec models.
You can even find blenders with a heating function now. In addition, Vitamix has a few options that allow you to blend or puree your soup and heat it all in one go. It’s a quick and easy way to make a healthy meal with very little clean-up.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the history of blenders. I think it’s fascinating to look back and see how far appliances have come over the years, and it intrigues me to think about what’s yet to come.
If you’re looking for a new blender, be sure to read our other articles about blenders before purchasing.
We compare different types of blenders and discuss what features to look for when buying one.
Thanks for reading!