Tag Archives: ethel day

The Oldest Appliance in Carleton Place




In 1984 Ethel Day in Carleton Place described to the Ottawa Citizen that she still had a 100 year-old food chopper. Passed down through three generations, the Universal cast iron chopper was used by her grandother to grind meat, her mother ground peanuts and finally Day herself ground breadcrumbs and anything else laying around.

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The ‘Journal of Domestic Appliances’ declared in 1882, ‘Year by year domestic inventions of every kind are increasing; and no matter whether we desire to clean knives, or make stockings, peel potatoes, black shoes, make butter, wash clothes, stitch dresses, shell peas, or even bake our bread, all we have to do now is turn a handle…’.

How times have changed.  Now all we have to do is “plug it in”.  But what other appliance has stood the test of time like these grinders? U.S. made of cast iron and wood over 100 years ago and still in working order!  They don’t make anything like this anymore.  When is the last time you bought a kitchen appliance expected to last for a century?