When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sunbeam Mixmasters, Australia's Favourite Kitchen Appliance! A Personal history.

 

 

My Mum had a Kenwood and my Aunt had a Sunbeam Mixmaster; the mixmaster was a gift from her 1960's wedding. As a kid I was fascinated by the way the bowl turned while it mixed, Mum's Kenwood had a fixed bowl. About 30 years later my Aunt told me that I could have the Sunbeam when she passed on. Imagine my surprise when my Mum turns up at my place one day for a visit, with the said Sunbeam mixer. My initial concern was that my Aunt had died and someone had neglected to tell me, Mum assured me that was not the case and that my Aunt had decided to give it to me now as she had not used it in years. I was the proud owner of a vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster but not in the vein of the advertising from the Brisbane Courier, I'm no mother and I wasn't looking for "another pair of hands".

 

Within days I had the misfortune of breaking the small, white, glass bowl. About a week later I found myself in a Lifeline opportunity shop and just happened to find an original mixer bowl, sized small. Hooray! I used the mixer for about 12 months without incident until one day I made the fatal mistake of putting the beaters in the wrong way. Anyone who has used a Sunbeam Mixmaster would know, square beater inserted right, curved beater (for the bowl edge) left. Di it the other way you run the risk of breaking or bending the beaters, which I did. The mixer was retired to the back of the cupboard until the replacement beaters were found. To date, still no beaters.

On the weekend I welcomed a brand new Sunbeam Mixmaster to my kitchen. Sunday was not suppose to be an appliance shopping day but whilst out on other errands I found it in a discount department store for nearly 50% of recommended retail price. I bought it. All cast alloy body (no plastic) and the heavy glass bowls are replaced by lighter stainless steel versions. It tilts and locks but does not detach from it's base like the older version and the paint finish is not enamelled but is a very smart off white powder coat. Earlier models were available in colours (green, yellow, blue and red) it mixes only as the optional mince, citrus juicer and blender attachments are gone. Excellent! Do one thing and do it well. The styling makes a number of nods to the earlier versions including the swept back handle and curved base rise. The new chunky front livery is much better looking than the tin plate panel front plate that my Aunt's original mixer has. The new Sunbeam Mixmaster is great and I will keep my Aunts as a show piece. Best I get baking.

 

 

Citation: 1956 Advertising,The Australian Women's Weekly (1932-1982), 31 October, p. 78, viewed 11 March, 2011

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52268783

1939 Advertising, The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933-1954), 9 May, p. 2, viewed 11 March, 2011

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40832638

Original Images by The McWhirters Project

44 comments:

  1. I have similar memories with my mother and her Sunbeam Mixmaster. She is gone now but I have the mixer and continue to use it when baking for my grandchildren. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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  2. I just bought a vintage Sunbeam mixer from the thrift and was trying to do a little bit of research to find out if it is authentic and came across this post. It has a silver certification sticker on the side, but does not say "60th Anniversary" as the 1990 re-creation does. Do you know any good ways to tell if it is indeed real vintage? It's in fantastic condition and was only $9 USD. Thanks for the post!

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  3. Hi - stumbled across your blog when I was looking for some infor about McWhirters. I too have an original Sunbeam Mixmaster that my mum gave me because she 'Didn't want to wait until she was dead' (my Mum's only 65). Luckily, I knew of the rule about the beaters as my mum ruined a set once and had to replace the whole mechanism. Mine is the super duper model with juicer, blender and mincer attachments. Thanks for your wry post.

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