Before the first patent egg beater, the earliest mechanical beater was a wooden bow drill type. In which a string was attached to a bow, the string then went through a stick & as the bow went back & forth, the stick would spin. First one direction then another. Much like a fire starting bow & stick, however the stick also was supported by a wood frame & had little pegs near the bottom to beat & mix.
At the turn of the 19th century every household in America did its own mixing & baking, and thus owned an egg beater. The first one was patented in 1856, and since then there has been over a thousand eggbeater patents, and several hundred different models. All the very early models were in a cylinder with perforated holes near the bottom, and had plunger or dasher that was moved up & down.
These were also know as cream whips, or syllabub churns. The very early ones were all metal, while similar models still selling 75 years later, (as mayonnaise mixers) but with glass jars attached as the cylinder. Rotary egg beaters protrude through a canister (or cylinder lid) were patented as early as 1857. Many early eggbeaters came with attached jars, bowls, pitchers or other container and a cast iron handle, and some with wooden paddles.
Wire whisk beaters were patent as early as 1869, and wire whisks were so popular by the early 1900's, one could buy a coil of wire to replace broken wires. Some of the early models had springs & levels or plungers you had to squeeze & release to cause the blades to rotate.
In the early 1920's there were even water powered beaters that attached to your faucet, the water went through a pear shaped metal box, and turned the beater blades, and then exited through a tube in the back, the blades & your eggs were contained in a fruit jar, that attached to the metal box.
The first electric egg beater was single dasher blade, attached to a motor that fit over a small jar, & patented in the early 1900's.
Most egg beaters bring less then $50, with a very few rare ones worth $2000 or more. However with the recent growth of beater collectors, many of the rare beaters have risen in value by $50 to $100, in the past few years alone. Some beaters were also known as cream whips, sugar spinners, drink mixers, batter mixers, mayonnaise mixers and even as butter churns, so as you search for the beaters you want you may also want to search by these names. A few names to watch for are E-A-S-Y, Family Brands, Holts, Jaquette, Keystone, Monroe, and Quik Whip. While many of the egg beaters display nicely by themselves in an old jar or crock, most serious collectors want pre 1910 cast rotary beaters with glass bottoms, and unusual mechanical actions. Most don't seek electric mixers, or beaters with stainless steel, plastic or tin wheels.
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