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KitchenAid Did It Right 87 Years Ago

The Atlantic [read free] – “My KitchenAid stand mixer is older than I am. My dad bought the white-enameled machine 35 years ago, during a brief first marriage. The bits of batter crusted into its cracks could be from the pasta I made yesterday or from the bread he made then. I learned to make my grandfather’s crunchy molasses gingersnaps in that stand mixer. In it, I creamed butter and sugar for the first time. Millions of stand mixers with stories like mine are scattered across the globe, sitting on counters in family homes since who knows when. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History displays Julia Child’s cobalt-enameled mixer in its re-creation of her kitchen; when Julia traveled for a cooking demonstration, she demanded that a KitchenAid be provided. If you buy the popular Artisan model today, your new appliance will look quite similar to the 1937 model designed by Egmont Arens: solid zinc base, enamel coating, arched overhang, a little cap for attachments on the face, room for a bowl to slot into its cradled arm. Inserting a dough hook or a whisk requires a simple click and turn, and adding an attachment to the front face uses the same motion. Arens, who edited the art section at Vanity Fair and designed objects such as aerosol cans, baby carriages, and beach chairs, once said in an interview that a machine’s parts should be “organized into a trim, sleek, streamlined shape—for in addition to lowering wind-resistance, streamlining also lowers eye-resistance.” The KitchenAid’s exterior design is a perfect example of that theory, not only functional but aesthetic: The contained, smooth lines of the casing and the glossy enamel make it easy to put away, satisfying to clean, and decorative on a countertop…”

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