Out of the Museum

A fond look back at a kitchen item

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Where: Beermann Plaza at 640 5th St.

When: Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Free: Donations always accepted

We’re glad to say that readers knew the identity of last week’s mystery item.

We hope that trend continues with this week’s mystery item, pictured here with Lincoln Area Archives Museum President Elizabeth Jansen. If you know what the mystery item is, please send answers to by Tuesday.


Last week’s mystery item

Gerri Ferrari was the first to answer: “Mystery items are egg beaters and yes, my mother had them and I used them often as a young girl.”

Bill Lane: “Hand-crank mixers used for scrambled eggs or pie meringue. Neither tool requires batteries.”

Rita Drinkard: “The two items pictured are found in the kitchen and use for mixing and beating.”

Larry Lynn: “So now my wife thinks it’s funny I know some of these museum items.  I guess I must be an old man to recognize them. Age 63. I must admit that when I saw this week’s item, I knew right away what they were. At least I think I’m right. The items are an egg beater and hand mixer from the early 1900s. The handle is usually made of wood.”

Paul Long: “This week’s mystery item is a set of hand mixers, probably from the late ’20s. The large one is a hand mixer used for dough and the small one is an egg beater used for eggs and whipped cream. Most hand mixers from that era had handles.”

Ron Dean: “The two items this week would be found in the kitchen and are hand-powered mixers or what we used to call ‘egg beaters.’”

Janet Tally: “Items posted are two old-fashioned egg beaters. Making an angel food cake was a work out!”

Nancy Baradine and Pat Togstad also said the mystery item was an egg beater.


Egg beaters

Last week’s manual egg beater continues to be found in today’s kitchen.

Ralph Collier, a tinsmith from Maryland, is said to have invented the egg beater in December 1856. That makes the hand-held, revolving beaters 162 years old. The tool made egg beating much easier and faster. 

The Dover Company bought the first patent in the United States.

Last week’s mystery items, a toy egg beater and the regular-size egg beater, were donated by museum docent Elaine Hunt Van Camp. 

The doll’s egg beater is part of a child's cooking set given to Elaine’s mother (Charlotte Eyre Hunt, a 55-year resident of the Lincoln area). 

“This happened about 1923 when mom was a child in Salem, Oregon.  The set includes blue and white porcelain custard cups, spatulas, and mixing spoons.  As a child, I too played with this set,” Elaine said. “When my husband and I were cleaning out my mother-in-law’s house prior to her moving into a residential care home in Lincoln, imagine my surprise when I found the grown-up version of the egg beater my mother and I enjoyed playing with! The two egg beaters were patented by the same company, two years apart.  My mother-in-law's name was Mildred Van Camp. Hope this gives you a little background on the items.”

To see more kitchen tools, visit the Lincoln Area Archives Museum.

  • Carol Feineman