The History of Hobart and Kitchenaid Mixers -- THE INTRODUCTION
While a active member of the Kitchenaid forum I noticed the same questions kept coming up. Tiring of this repetition, on April 17, 2006; I decided to create a "definitive" KA/Hobart pictorial history on the site. The information and photos there are taken from internet sources, WACEM, other Kitchenaid forum members, DecoDan, and my own limited knowledge.
The moderators of the forum and the other members were very pleased with the result, although I had hoped for more. The moderators were kind enough to give me nice Kitchenaid kitchen items as tokens of their appreciation.
The moderators of the forum also encouraged me to write another thread on the forum that addressed Kitchenaid mixer attachments. I did so and it also was a “hit”! The moderators for Kitchenaid were truly appreciative and I received more tokens from them.
I found that I had unofficially become the Kitchenaid forum’s resident “expert” on vintage mixers and attachments. I was even interviewed for and invited to be taped for a Kitchenaid infomercial! I was not able to attend, but to be asked was an honor!
When new information was discovered about the mixers and attachments, the information on the forum threads was added at the end of the thread, not in the appropriate place in the timeline. I found that to be confusing to readers and an issue that I could not resolve. I also felt that both threads should be combined, so that mixers and their attachments could clearly be seen in the historical prospective.
Another issue that needed to be addressed constantly on the Kitchenaid forum was requests for User Manuals for the vintage mixers. I spent lots of time copying and sending Kitchenaid copies of my manuals so they would have them available for other members upon request.
These too somehow needed to be combined with the history of the mixers and the attachments. The Kitchenaid forum folded in September of 2010 and my plans were foiled. I did join a foodie forum where I was warmly welcomed and lionized regarding my expertise on KA mixers.
Then, a chance meeting with a lady on another food site, led to me advising her on what mixer she needed. This lady is Susan, who then said I needed to write a book. The love of my life -- Rory and my Cousin Jeff have enthusiastically supported me in this endeavor.
So for Susan, Jeff, Rory, my nieces Marisa, Shaina, and Nala; and in memory of my Mother -- Rozelia -- here it is. My history of the Kitchenaid/Hobart mixers
KITCHENAID HISTORY TIME-LINE
1908 HERBERT JOHNSTON SET OUT TO DESIGN AN EASIER WAY OF COMMERCIAL MIXING.
Like many home appliances, the standing mixer has been downsized from its commercial predecessor. In 1908, engineer Herbert Johnson was observing a baker mixing bread dough with a metal spoon, often dripping perspiration into the dough; Johnson became determined to create a sweat-less mechanical mixing device.
1914 FIRST 80-QUART HOBART COMMERCIAL MIXER MARKETED.
1916 U.S. NAVY ORDERED HOBART MIXERS FOR BATTLESHIPS.
Shortages of metal during World War I kept the Hobart Company from offering a residential product.
1919 MODEL H-5 $189.50 - THE FIRST HOME STAND MIXER WITH PLANETARY ACTION.
In 1918, company executives began to test prototype models in their homes. Legend has it that the wife of one of these executives said, "I don't care what you call it, all I know is it's the best kitchen aid I've ever had." Hence the product's name...
The first 5-quart countertop KitchenAid mixers were expensive($189.50, or about $2,200 in 2008 dollars) and heavy (65 pounds) they weren't convenient.
In the early years, retailers were slow to take on the KitchenAid mixer. To counter their reluctance, Hobart established a direct sales force made up primarily of women who went door to door offering demonstrations of the new food preparation tool.
1920 PLANETARY ACTION PATENTED.
1923 KITCHENAID BEGAN ADVERTISING IN NATIONAL MAGAZINES.
The mixer became more convenient and affordable in 1936, when pioneering industrial designer Egmont Ahrens trimmed the mixer down and chopped the price to $55 and then to about $30.
1927 MODEL G $111.00 - SMALLER, LIGHTER DESIGN.
1931 MODEL F 489.50 - 3 ½ QUART BOWL, LOWER PRICE.
1932 MODEL A (CAUDATE) - SMALLEST KITCHENAID EVER MADE...ROTATING BOWL.
1933 MODEL R & D - MADE IN LIMITED QUANTITIES WITH A FACETED CHROMED BODY.
1937 MODEL K $55.00 - THE FIRST TO USE A BOWL THAT SECURED TO THE BASE WITH AN INTERLOCKING MOTION.
1939 MODEL K-3 $28.50 - 3 SPEED INTRODUCED WITH 3 QUART BOWL.
MODEL K4 $55.00 - MODEL K ENHANCED WITH 4 QUART BOWL.
1940 MODEL K-3A $29.95 - REPLACED K-3.
1941 MODEL K-5A $109.00 - REPLACED THE MODEL G. HAS REMAINED UNCHANGED IN THE LINE SINCE ITS INTRODUCTION - 5 QUART BOWL.
PRODUCTION OF KITCHENAID STAND MIXERS LIMITED.
1944 MODEL K-4B - REPLACED MODEL K-4A.
MODEL K3B $29.95 - REPLACED MODEL K3A.
1947 MODEL HOBART N-50 INTRODUCED IN OCTOBER – COMMERCIAL 5 QT MODEL
1950 MODEL K-3C - MODEL K-3B COSMETICALLY REDESIGNED.
1955 KITCHENAID INTRODUCED BOLD NEW COLORS.
1962 MODEL K-45 - MODEL K-4 REFINED TO 4 ½ QUART BOWL. STILL IN PRODUCTION - THE MOST POPULAR MODEL EVER INTRODUCED.
MODEL K-4C - MODEL K-3C ENHANCED WITH A 4 QUART BOWL. FEATURED A GLASS BOWL WITH A SINGLE PURPOSE BEATER SINCE ITS INCEPTION.
1979 THE LAST K-4C WAS PRODUCED.
1986 Hobart sold the Kitchen Aid line to Whirlpool. Chief among the REASONS are that Americans do not want commercial mixers, they want shiny multi-speed gadgets. Commercial equipment in general is not intended to look good in the kitchen; it is intended to work reliably for many years in the commercial environment. Americans won't pay for durability and _lack_ of features over looks. So there was no way for a commercial equipment manufacturer to make money on a "prosumer" mixer line.