The Nebraska History Museum has many cooking tools and gadgets in its collections. Here are a few of their stories.
Wagner Ware Waffle Iron
Sure, nonstick surfaces have their advantages, but think about the perfectly crispy exterior of a waffle made on a cast iron waffle iron. To keep your waffle from sticking, the iron must be thoroughly greased. The 1907 Lowney’s Cook Book suggests using salt pork fat. This Wagner Ware iron was patented in 1910 and would have been used directly on a stove.
This cake pan was made for the wedding of May Cynthia Whiting to Mans Theodore Westerman in 1902. The pan was then passed on to other friends and family members to make their wedding cakes. It was used by several generations into the 1960s. Brides scratched their names into the exterior of the pan. Most names are not very visible anymore, but you can see a few in the images here.
According to the donor, it was used for cakes at the following weddings: Adelloyd Whiting and Fred Cowgill Williams, Emily Jenkins and Cliff Crooks, Virginia Crooks and Sam Gallamore, Helen Dinsmore and Otto Weise, Rosanna Williams and James Wheaton, Marjorie Wheaton and Harry W. Akeson, Jr., Virginia Wheaton and Lt. Donald J. Wallager, and Emma Westermann and Thomas R. Curran. Some of the other names that are visible on the pan are Lorna Hoppens and William Crook, Josephine Orr and Robert Danielson, and Vivian Alfred and Earl McClure.
The Home Vegetable Slicer, patented in 1898, was made by Catawissa Specialty Mfg. Co. in Catawissa, Pennsylvania. The label claims that it creates corregated slices that will cook quicker and more evenly than if they were plain. This slicer belonged to Mary Kritzen who homesteaded with her husband near Firth, Nebraska.
This popcorn popper would have been used over an open flame. It belonged to Mary Bryan Allen, the sister of Nebraska politician William Jennings Bryan.
3801-97, Mary Bryan Allen