KITCHENAID MODEL K-5A MIXER
1941 On the eve of World War II, model K5A was introduced. It replaced the KA model G 5qt narrow bowl mixer. It has remained virtually unchanged until 1978 when the KSS series replaced it.
The earliest K5-A mixers had he plain bands with nothing behind the speed control. I think it was in 1962 they went from the brass band with the engraved script logo to the screen-printed block logo. They had the Hobart name, but no shield on the name band. The latest K5-A's from the 1970's had the Hobart name in their logo shield on the band behind the speed control switch.
There is no way to pin down a date from the serial number of newer K5-A's. The engraved band with the serial number was discontinued in 1962 about the same time that stainless steel bowls were added.
Bowl style changes
1941 Bowls are 5qt tinned metal with handle flanges and open lip edge like the Model G bowls.
The first stainless steel bowls have the handle flanges and the open lip edge.
On later editions of the K-5A, the bowl flange handles were removed but the open lip edge remained.
Still later editions of the bowl have rolled top edges rather than the open lip design for home use [open lip bowls continued to be made for commercial models for sanitary reasons].
Beater style changes
Notice the slight changes in design of the beaters. They are smaller than the G model beaters also.
The flat beaters have few strips in the grid and the tinned wire whip has fewer wires than the whip designed for the G model.
Also note the dough hook has a flat cap top now. The dough hook will undergo a few slight changes over the years to come.
Later beaters had the white plastic dishwasher safe coating, leaving only the commercial models with burnished aluminum beaters.
Old attachments continued with the K-5A according to my manual
Aluminum Bowl Splash guard
Aluminum bowl chute
aluminum sausage stuffer
Water jacket - now made in stainless steel
Can Opener -- with slight revisions
Colander & Sieve
This style is shown in an early K5-A manual I have and has slight changes. The biggest difference is that a wood paddle replaced the ceramic rollers. The shape of the bowl is a little different as well. It uses the water jacket attachment to catch the juice that comes through the colander.
Pelican head slicer
glass citrus juicer
Cast Aluminum Rotary Slicer and Shredder
This new version Comes One Fine and One Coarse Grating Cone, plus One Thick and One Thin Slicing Cone. These cones replaced the drum style slicers in the old version.
2qt wood ice cream maker replaced 3 qt ice cream maker
Post-war versions of the attachment (that went with the K5-A, K4-B, 3C, 4C, and so on) lack the indicator and were first made with both wood buckets. If I recall correctly, the wood-bucket units were made in two sizes. At some point the wood bucket was replaced with the green fiberglass unit, which came with a reversible stand that allowed use on either of KA's mixer offerings (tilt head or bowl lift).
Production of KA stand mixers were limited due to WWII.
All three Arens-designed mixers are virtually unchanged today. They appear in many museums and have won awards for outstanding design.
There is no official information on the age of K-5A's, but I have tried to compare serial numbers with known dates when I can.
One appeared on eBay several years ago that matched serial number 5B12599 to December 1941 with a photo of the original receipt. I would hazard a guess that yours is also from the 1940's.
There is no way to pin down a date from the serial number of newer K5-A's. The engraved band with the serial number was discontinued in 1962 about the same time that stainless steel bowls were added. They were discontinued in 1978 when the mixer became the K5SS.
The latest K5-A's from the 1970's had the Hobart name in their logo shield on the band behind the speed control switch. Early models had the Hobart name, but no shield. Still earlier were the plain bands with nothing behind the speed control.
K5A that was a wedding present in Dec. of 1941 serial number 5812599.
One bought it in 1948 serial # 5B17687
K5-A, #5B10252, which was purchased new in the Mid 40's
The original K5-A came with a tinned bowl and had an etched or engraved trim band that is probably made of brass. The serial number is stamped on the trim band and many start with 5BXXXXX. The logo type is quite a bit different from that found on later mixers. The print is a bit less of a Block and the “K”, “h”, and “A” are quite stylized when compared to later and modern logos.
Some time in the late 1950’s or more likely the early 1960’s stainless steel bowls became standard, the logo was changed and the band became screen printed instead of etched. The serial number is not stamped on band of this generation of K-5A’s. I assume that it is stuck under the mixer base like current mixers are.
Later K5-A’s came with coated tools and somewhere in its evolution the gray/brown cord became white. It continued until the late 1970’s when it KitchenAid mixers added a solid state speed control and the K5SS was introduced.
Before the 70s the power cords were gray or brown, but afterwards were white.