Saturday, February 25, 2023

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Toaster Toast?

I found this 4-slot "Mary Proctor" model P21601 toaster in the basement of a home this morning.  It was pretty dusty, but I could see the chrome underneath was in good condition.  It cleaned up nicely.

However, when I plugged it in, nothing.  Toasters are fairly basic, particularly these manual plunge toasters, so I knew it couldn't be anything too complex.  Removing the rear base where the cord goes in, I found one of the spade connectors for the power cord had simply come off.  Putting that back in place, the toaster fired right up.  Well, maybe "fired" isn't the appropriate description. That would be bad.  It "powered" up.  Given the nice condition, I'm guessing the connector came loose early in this toaster's life and the owner said, "Honey, the toaster quit working, can you pick up another one next time you're at the store?" and put this toaster in their basement for the next 50 years.

The toaster has separate plungers and toasting level controls so you don't have to heat all 4 slots for just 2 pieces of toast.  You can also have separate settings if someone in the house likes their toast a little darker or lighter.  

There are additional "Color Tuners" on the bottom in case the slide adjuster is off.

The toaster's guarantee expired February of 1967, so I'm guessing this is a 1966 model.

"Mary Proctor" was the house brand for home appliances made by the Proctor Silex company.  I guess it was their "Betty Crocker".

It still does its job 57 years later and makes nicely "color tuned" toast.


  1. that little decorative swirl element on the front just pins the date right on it at a glance, doesn't it? love it.

  2. That resembles a toaster we had growing up for our family of 8. We also had those blue Currier and Ives dishes.

    1. I believe we had a 4-slotter at one point in the 70's. I recall it being length-wise rather than width. We had those Currier & Ives dishes growing up as well. My dad worked at A&P and they were given out as a promotion, either for buying something or with so many dollar purchase.


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