All my life I’ve loved reading biographies and profiles of interesting people, and it’s fascinating to match something you use frequently with its original inventor. Like Irving Naxon. Keep reading for more details!
For today’s blog post by The Daily Artisan, the challenge is to select something in your home that gets a lot of use, and do online research about how that item came to be. We’re blessed to have high-speed Internet at our fingertips, and it’s a great tool for research, including about inventions and their inventors.
So, back to Irving Naxon.
My Selection for the Challenge
To complete The Daily Artisan challenge, I selected my beloved slow cooker, the All-Clad 7-Quart with All-In-One-Browning for the reasons I’ve previously posted about.
Although I remember having a Crock Pot in our family home when my brothers and I were growing up, I’ve never really thought about who invented the slow cooker (or crock pot – turns out there are some differences.) All I know is that I use my All-Clad quite often with excellent results that keep me reaching for it time and time again, year after year.
Again, back to Irving Naxon.
The first slow cooker was invented by … Irving Naxon … and it was called The Beanery. It was used to cook the Jewish stew of meat and beans called cholent, which is slow cooked on Fridays in preparation for the Sabbath.
The Beanery would one day become the Crock Pot – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Irving Naxon was an engineer and a prolific inventor, and his family recalls curiosity, and a desire to problem-solve in their household as his hallmarks. The slow cooker would let the family prepare meals without turning on the oven during the summer heat.
After inventing The Beanery (a crock with a fitted lid that had a heating element built around the crock’s inner chamber), Irving Naxon applied for a patent in 1936 and received it in 1940.
Product Goes to Market
The device went to market during the 1950s, and later in 1970 when Irving Naxon retired, he sold his business to Rival Manufacturing. The Beanery was rebranded by its new owner as the Crock Pot, and it was a huge hit with a changing America seeing more women working outside the home and looking for conveniences inside the home.
It made its debut alongside the microwave, Tupperware, and frozen dinners eaten in front of the television.
The new Crock Pot had sales of $2 million in 1971 – which quickly grew to $93 million in just four years. The kitchen appliance was wildly popular, and now more than 50 years later with updates and improvements evolving over time, it remains in strong demand.
In fact, my research showed that more than 80% of American households own a slow cooker, and I’m happy to live in one of those homes!
Irving Naxon died in 1989, and I was pleased to read there’s a Crock Pot in the Smithsonian in recognition of its iconic and cultural significance in America. His inventive reach extended beyond the Crock Pot, though, holding more than 200 patents.
It’s fascinating to read about the wide range of his inventions – everything from a sonar submarine detector that was used by the U.S. Defense Department in World War II – to a tiny electric washing machine for doll clothes.
I doubt that Irving Naxon envisioned his acclaimed place in history – or that in 2022, a blog called The Daily Artisan would be featuring his inventive genius that brought a slow cooker into my home. Thank you, Mr. Naxon!
How I Use Mine
While slow cookers are versatile for all kinds of food, my favorite use is with meats – beef, chicken, turkey, and pork – roasts, shoulders, loins, and butts, you name it!
The All-Clad 7-Quart with All-In-One-Browning slow cooker gives you the opportunity to first sear the meat and seal in the delicious juices before switching to the slow-cooking function. The locked-in flavor is amazing, and I also love the beautiful color that’s uniquely available with a searing feature.
Plus, your house will smell amazing for those eight or so hours of slow cooking!
Here are photos of some more of my slow cooker meats – I think tomorrow at 7 a.m. I’m going to start another one!
Do you accept The Daily Artisan challenge to find something at home you use frequently – and research who invented it? What will you choose? Please comment below!