The Golden-Brown Age of Toast
A 6000-year history

Nothing MoreThan Fillings:
1. The true story of Pop Tarts
2. Toaster Pastry Facts

Mutant Spawns of Pop Tarts
Strange and failed toaster foods

Hot Slots
Recipes for your toaster

Plugged-in Toasters
Links to other toaster-related sites

Best Thing since Sliced Bread
Eggos; Lenders' Bagels; Thomas' English Muffins

Toast hieroglyphics

The Golden-Brown Age of Toast
A 6000-year history

Without bread, there would be no toasters. It was about 6,000 years ago that the Egyptians invented fluffy bread as we know it. Before that bread was unleavened, flat and hard. Egyptian bakers somehow discovered that kneading the dough with their feet made the dough rise because of the natural yeasts between their toes. (It's believed that the discovery of cheesemaking had a similar foot-note in history. Grilled cheese, anyone?) This softer bread was so valued that Egyptian workers were paid in bread at the end of the day, making them the first breadwinners.

Making toast came along soon after. Originally begun as a way of preserving bread, toasting was very popular among the Romans who gave it its modern name ("tostum" means scorching or burning) and spread toast throughout its empire from Africa to Britain. Methods used in pre-electric times involved direct flames or hot stones.

The first electric toaster appeared in 1909. It toasted one side at a time and wasn't automatic when the toast looked good to you, you pulled the plug. Ten years later, Charles Strite finally invented the modern, timer-activated, pop-up toaster. The innovation of pre-sliced bread from Wonder in 1930 advanced toasting technology all the further consumers bought 1,200,000 toasters that year.

For more information about the history of toasters, and dozens of pictures of historic toasters, check out the excellent Toaster Museum webpage:

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