We’ve got a really old Sunbeam mixer. I’m not sure how old–it comes from Julie’s side of the family. But, off the top of my head, it might be nearly as old as I am. I found only one reference (and that’s a slightly different model) to the awesome name it applies to the speed setting: Infinite Speed Governor Control”:
They’re hard to read in the photo, but each of the 12 speeds has an accompanying term associated with it. As a former technical writer, I’m troubled by the willy-nilly use of both gerunds (“mixing”, “folding”) and specific foods (“quick breads”, “puddings”) in the list. Do they still do this on new mixers and blenders? As you might imagine, I’m not much for the baking.
The font is probably Eurostile, which was designed in 1962, so it’s not older than that. The plastic and contours do make me think late ’60s/early ’70s. I’m surprised it’s not pale yellow or green.
My breadmaker uses the specific food settings, which cause it to mix for a certain time period, and voracity depending on what I am attempting to prepare (attempting being the operative word). I assume with pre-breadmaker technology they were striving to give the baker some understanding of the kind of blending that best suits a specific food, just as many recipes recommend the baker “knead the dough thoroughly” or “lightly stir” their recipe. I would imagine cooking terminology has a pretty good shelf life, certainly longer than the new iPod will manage to stay on the shelf, before it is surpassed by the new 6 Terrabyte, 3-D, Music Video and Teleportation Nano hits shelves.
I’ve got a KitchenAid stand mixer; on the body, the speeds are “Stir” and then 2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 10. The manual is consistent, using gerunds to describe the speed (e.g. “slow mixing”, “beating, creaming”) and in another column describing what types of foods or mixer attachments the speed is suited to.
If it lists 12 discrete speeds, then it’s not really infinite. That’s marketing for you.
My mother has a Sunbeam 500-in-one mixer (I think it even has a sausage-making attachment) with 10 discrete speeds, probably similar vintage going by the photo but in ’60’s Kitchen Green’
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