The household name Sunbeam is often associated with the iconic Mixmaster; which a good number of our parents own – some of which are over 50 years old right now and still working. Have you ever given even a moment’s thought as to how these products came into existence and where Sunbeam originated as a company?
Well, the electric blender, as we know it today, was invented in the year 1919 by Stephen Poplawski, owner of Stevens Electric Company.
After continuing to refine his invention, in 1922, he patented the blender and started using it to make malts and milkshakes; he also began selling the device through his company, the Steven Electric Company as a “drink mixer”. Finally, he sold his invention to eager drug store owners for their soda fountain businesses.
John Oster Manufacturing Company then bought the Stevens Electric Company in 1946 and in the year 1960 Oster was purchased by Sunbeam products. The Sunbeam product is still in existence today, which means you can still buy a direct descendant of the original blender!
But the actual history of Sunbeam products spans through to the year 1897 when John K. Stewart and Thomas Clark decided to incorporate their Chicago Flexible Shaft Company, which made horse trimming and sheep shearing machinery.
At the dawn of 1921 Sunbeam produced its first branded household appliance, the Princess Electric Iron. Ivar Jepson a Swedish immigrant and the company’s head designer as at the time invented the Mixmaster mixer in the year 1928 but it was introduced in 1930. The Mixmaster mixer was the first mechanical mixer with two detachable beaters and interlocked blades.
With several available attachments (like the drink mixer, juice extractor, etc.), the Mixmaster made it to the forefront of the market, and became the company’s flagship product for over forty years.
In the early years of the 1980s, Sunbeam became the world’s largest manufacturers of small appliances including coffee makers, electric toasters, and electric shavers, among other devices.
In the year 1989, Sunbeam products were classified into four divisions: Specialty Products, Outdoor Products, Household Products, and International Sales. And in the year 1991, the company was able to begin their comeback with sales rising by 7% that year.
Sunbeam household products include blenders, mixers, toaster, etc. representing a diverse product line.