Artifact of the Week — January 25, 2024

Posted by on January 25, 2024

Toas-Tite® Sandwich Maker

Today’s generation has a wide variety of sealed sandwiches in differing sizes and shapes. Long before pocket sandwiches was Toas-Tite. Patented in 1945 and sold in 1949, this marvel was a one-hit wonder, falling into obscurity after being on the market a few short years. By 1953, it was nearly impossible to find a Toas-Tite on a store shelf. What happened to this marvelous little kitchen gadget?

The original inventor was John E. Streitelmeier, who apparently worked for Bar-B-Buns when he created the Toas-Tite. Patents for Mr. Streitelmeier and Bar-B-Buns were both filed; the latter as an improvement on the former. Mr. Streitelmeier passed away in the 1950s, and it might be his influence on Toas-Tite’s appeal was what placed it on the shelves. After Mr. Streitelmeier’s death, Bar-B-Buns may have gone in a different direction.

If you look closely at the packaging in this picture, you will note above the name “Replica of 1949 original”. This box may be more modern, but the reason it exists is because, after a 70-year hiatus, Toas-Tite has returned to a website near you!

Toas-Tite Sandwich Maker
Toas-Tite Sandwich Maker

To make a hot, melted sandwich, take two pieces of bread (or tortillas) and add your favorite ingredients. Press your creation between the rounded Toas-Tite paddles and toast this masterpiece on a grill, fire pit, or stovetop. Within three minutes you can create a warm meal. 

Thank you to Jessica Bumann for allowing us to display her Toas-Tite for our “A Taste of Community” exhibit. Come by and visit our Smithsonian Institution/Old Independence Regional Museum exhibit – it is now officially open! We will see you at the museum!

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