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It was the dawn of a new century. Each day, more and more Americans were getting electricity in their homes. The miracle of electric energy and the conveniences it provided were being realized in the parlors of fine American homes. The people at the Hobart Manufacturing Company had been developing electric motors and attaching them to all manner of devices in an effort to find a niche. An engineer at Hobart saw that a great deal of time in the kitchen was spent simply mixing ingredients. In 1919 Hobart introduced the Model H-5 Standing Mixer. It is said that an executive’s wife declared it “the best kitchen aid.” The rest is history.

Sort of. The original was a cumbersome 65lbs and cost a king’s ransom ($189!). It wasn’t until 1936 that designer Egmont Arens was brought in to streamline the brand. His design reduced both the weight and the cost of the mixer considerably. This design is so popular that it has changed very little over the years and has become known today as the Kitchenaid Classic. The design has changed so little in fact that many of the modern attachments will fit on your vintage Kitchenaid mixer, and old parts will fit on the new ones.

Model H-5: I hope you got your tetanus shot.

The original Kitchenaid mixers were only available in white. Some time in the 1950s, America discovered color (see Fiestaware), and in 1955 Kitchenaid added Island Green, Petal Pink, Sunny Yellow, Satin Chrome, and Antique Copper. The 1970s added Avocado and Harvest Wheat (of course), and today just about anything is possible. According to their website, there are currently 27 color options for the Artisan model.

But nothing can last forever. Like your favorite band, Kitchenaid and Hobart split in 1986 with Kitchenaid being acquired by Whirlpool. Kitchenaid mixers are still manufactured in Greenville, Ohio. I heard that Hobart is married and teaching school somewhere.

My wife and I got a Kitchenaid Classic back in 2005. It’s still heavy, but just heavy enough to let you know that it means business. Ours is a lovely matte black Artisan. It’s indespensable in the kitchen, especially when you consider the prospect of spending twenty minutes with a whisk or a wooden spoon when you could be doing something else (like eating chocolate chips). Don’t believe me? Go fold some cake batter.

Kitchenaid Stand Mixer