Thursday, March 3, 2022

Classic Osterizer

We had a blender growing up, but I could probably count the number of times we used it on one hand.  It's always seemed like a very job-specific appliance, and of course, it is. It chops things. Or gooifies them, depending on the setting.  I've always done my chopping manually.

My wife and daughter, however, like smoothies, something we'd never heard of in my family growing up.  So we've picked up modern blenders from the store and garage sales in the past.  None survive.  The blenders made today are mostly plastic and utilize cheaply-made motors.

I came across this 1960's Osterizer Classic VIII at an estate sale a few months ago.  It was in rough condition and the motor was locked, but I liked its looks.  And when I picked it up, it weighed a ton.

In addition to having some light surface rust, the motor was locked up.

When I got it home, I poured a little oil into the seal around the motor spindle (that turns the blades), turned the motor manually with pliers and then let it sit and soak overnight.  That freed the motor up, but I still had trouble once I mounted the blades and jar.  The motor wouldn't turn the blades. I think some grit or rust had gotten between the blades and were preventing them from turning.

So, I dug up one of our newer broken blenders and found the blades were interchangeable.  Voil√†, the blender was spinning again.  I also applied some chrome polish and it removed all traces of tarnish and made it sparkle.

I love the chrome and mid-century aesthetic it has.


I've always been puzzled with the names attributed to the various speeds: "Stir", "Puree", "Whip", "Grate", "Mix", "Chop", "Blend" and "Liquefy".  Nothing about the blades or motion change with each setting.  It just goes faster and faster.  So are those descriptions really accurate?  Is "Mix" really more than "Whip"?  Can you really "Grate" with a blender?  Can you "Chop" without "Blending"? They should really just put a variable knob on it and let you just turn it to the speed you want.  

At any rate, my wife loves it and says it makes great smoothies.  And from my perspective, it does it with style.  And it will outlive us all.

9 comments:

  1. The older things do last, don't they? When we moved in, there was already an old dishwasher built in. Still using it, over 20 years later. The one issue is the racks are aging and missing pieces. My wife wants to buy a new one, but I know it will not last like this one. I feel like running it til it truly dies.

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    1. Oh, and I never understood blender settings, either.

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    2. I'd do everything I could to make that dishwasher functional, Joe. We've gone through at least 5 dishwashers in 30 years.

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  2. Nice blender! i'm sure i've told you about my antique blender. it's an Osterizer "Deluxe" blender from the 1950s (i think?), in chrome beehive. i found it perched on the edge of the dumpster outside my apartment in college. it weighs a TON. i think the person chucked it because they thought they killed the motor, but really it was just rusty and filthy. i cleaned it up and it worked fine, but it needed the cord replaced. i've had it ever since, so... 33+ years and counting. it's the best blender i've ever used (makes great blended margaritas!), and yeah -- all Osterizer tops, screw-on blade housing things, blades and O-rings fit their other models. it's a standard Osterizer thing. i found an old aluminum screw-on blade housing that i use now, instead of the usual black plastic one.

    my model looks exactly like this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/194668665124

    Oh, and they did re-release the chrome beehive model for some anniversary or other recently, but it only LOOKS like mine... the base is polished aluminum (or plastic?) and it's super light. and the motor is TERRIBLE. don't fall for one!

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  3. We had a blender growing up, but I could probably count the number of times we used it on one hand.

    Listen to Tom, kids--Don't insert your hand in the blender while its running.

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    Replies
    1. well, we're done here. Top Cat has clearly won the thread, haha!

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    2. You're right, Top Cat, that could explain why my mother put it away and never used it again. I'd give your comment a "thumbs up", but, you know...

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  4. Kudos for the Treehouse of Horror "gooify" reference.

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  5. Vita mix makes an expensive blender but I have had mine for 7 years and use it every day.

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