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Waffles, Sandwiches, Hamburgers…

The first US waffle iron was patented in 1869.  Since then various companies have manufactured waffle irons.

In the Universal Electric Housewares catalog from 1950, Landers, Frary & Clark advertised the Universal Sandwich Grill and Waffle Maker as an appliance which makes “quickie suppers or a ‘hurry up’ breakfast.”  Besides making waffles and toasting sandwiches, it also fries or grills eggs, bacon, hamburgers, and fish cakes.  It comes with two “quick-and-easy-to-change grids” which transform it from a waffle maker to a surface grill or vice versa.  And the expansion hinge allows both small and large sandwiches, even “3-deckers,” to be toasted.

Universal Electric Housewares and other catalogs from Landers, Frary & Clark of New Britain, Connecticut can be found in the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library.

—Alexia MacClain



Landers, Frary & Clark, Universal Electric Housewares catalog, 1950
Landers, Frary & Clark, Universal Electric Housewares catalog, 1950





  1. Richard

    Makes me hungry for waffles!

  2. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your web site.

  3. Jennifer

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but
    after going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyhow, I’m certainly delighted I found it and I’ll be
    bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  4. lorraine

    What are they worth?

  5. Dorothy Stevens

    I have the waffle maker that’s in your 1950 catalog and it still works.

  6. Dorothy Stevens

    Does the Smithsonian want it?

  7. Marta Aberg

    I have what I believe is an older version of this waffle iron. It was a wedding present to my mother. It is still in use, but I do not have a manual for it. Do you have a copy of the user’s manual?

    • Alexia MacClain

      Hi Marta,

      Thanks for your comment. If you’d like, you are welcome to send more information about your question to

      Alexia MacClain
      Library Technician

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