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In the Good Old Days Antiques Corner This Week in History
Antiques Corner

The Perfect Blend

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Question: I love this pastry blender's cheerful green handle, which makes it perfect for a display of kitchen collectibles. Does it date to the 1940s as I estimate? When did companies start making utensils with plastic or Bakelite handles instead of wood? How much is it worth?

Answer: A pastry blender is used to incorporate cold butter into flour while still allowing small lumps of the butter to remain. This results in a light, flaky texture in biscuits and pastries. This Androck brand pastry blender was made by the Washburn Co. of Worcester, Mass., probably in the 1930s; its patent date is "11-12-29." Kitchen utensils with plastic handles became prevalent in the 1950s. With less baking being done at home, these utensils have languished in kitchen cupboard drawers. Judging by the number of vintage examples available on internet sites and at flea markets, the supply is ample. The going rate is $10.

-- By Tom Hoepf, associate editor of Auction Central News

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