The Forgotten Accessories

 

The Forgotten Accessories

 

When I was selling appliances and had shown a customer all they wanted to see and the entire kitchen package was written up the last thing they would say to me before leaving was “Did we leave anything out” I would smile and say “Yes, we have Trash compactors, Built in Ironing boards, and Built in food centers” I would like to take this time of promote some of the benefits and add a little history about these forgotten items.

 

Trash Compactors:  The “Trash masher” compactor  was invented by Whirlpool in the 70s.  It became a fixture in the home in the 80s.  3 sizes were built by different manufacturers 12”, 15”, and 18”.  All 3 sizes are here today with BROAN producing all the 12” models, Whirlpool makes all the 15”, and Viking has the 18” formerly built by Hobart for Kitchenaid (they bought the tooling and built it in their factory now).  By the 90s, trash compactors hit a decline in sales; my guess was it was due to recycling of paper and plastic.  Through the 80s, 90% of our kitchen sales had a compactor and today it is about 5%.  They are still a wonderful thing to own.  I do not recycle all my garbage and a compactor could hold up to 2 weeks of “kitchen garbage” in way less space.  Since the trash is compacted already it takes up less fill, which is good for the environment.  My definition of kitchen garbage is non-perishable, non-recyclable, and inconvenient to recycle products.  For instance, do you recycle a Kleenex or the labels off jars and cans?  Do you recycle the pizza box (you are not supposed to) or the foam container your burger came in?  Do you recycle your Starbucks coffee cups or the sugar packets?  All these items could probably be recycled if we took the care to do so but as of now impractical.   Depending upon the size of the family anywhere from 2-4 weeks of garbage could be compacted into one 35-pound cube.  I do not suggest ever putting food inside because it will rot and get rancid, smell and attract bugs etc.  One still may need a bag to dispose of these on a daily basis for your weekly trash pick up but compactors still are a viable appliance for your kitchen.  Low maintenance and low energy cost I highly recommend them.  Most customers who purchase them have had them before.

 

Ironing Centers:  My grandmother had an ironing board built into her wall and I thought that was the greatest thing.  Just open the door and lower the board.  Her home was built in the 1930s.  Our business got into selling built in ironing centers in the 1980s.  There are 2 primary brands on the market, NUTONE and IronAway.  I believe with the rise of wash and wear fabrics the Iron has faded into obscurity but how we need one on vacation.  They are a must for any hotel room.  The centers we sell can have many features such as a swivel board.  This allows one to swivel the board 180 degrees so one can face the wall and have the board parallel to the wall instead of the board being perpendicular sticking out into the room blocking off some foot traffic.  Another feature associated with some of the models is they have electricity inside the cabinet.  This way you will not have to make sure that electricity is near the board to plug in your iron.  Electric models can have light options, that is a spotlight is mounted in the cabinet for you to use if lighting is poor.  The bulb swivels and can be pointed toward your work area.  A switch inside the cabinet conveniently shuts off the electricity if you forget to unplug the iron.  There can be a shelf for the iron that has metal to protect from fire.  Some boards come with an accessory sleeve board.  This helps to iron the sleeves of shirts without setting a wrinkle on the other side of the sleeve.  Besides the built in models there are wall mounted ones as well.  The next time you go find your portable ironing board or are struggling to get out a wrinkle on a blouse or shirt while ironing on your bed you might think about installing one of these conveniences.  They are out of site and can have custom doors to match your décor.

 

Food Centers:  For many years NUTONE was the leader in built in food centers.  A motor was mounted in your counter and by removing a cap one could insert a blender, food processor, ice crusher, knife sharpener, meat grinder, dough hook, mixer and many other accessories.  For a time we carried a rival brand called Ronson.  Ronson went south in the late 80s with NUTONE following in the late 90s.  There was a huge demand for this product, especially in new construction, in the 80s.  We had a hard time keeping them in stock.  I really have not yet figured out why this fad came to an abrupt end but maybe because the fancy counter machines, which really did a better job, were showing up from Europe.  Early last year, Bosch introduced its built in food center.  It rivals NUTONE with its accessory package.  The greatest conveniences about this item is one does not have to have so many gadgets taking up precious cabinet space.  Each one of these items is equipped with a motor.  Why not have one central motor located in the counter and just plug your accessory into it?  We just put one in our newly remodeled showroom for consumers to play with.  Maybe Bosch can kickstart this industry again.  These are a fabulous appliance to own and use.