Each week, we rummage through the dark corners of our kitchen drawers to bring you an enigmatic item. We ask you to guess what it is in our weekly From the From the Back of the Drawer puzzle. To enter this week’s puzzle, visit this page. To read more descriptions of past items, visit this page. And, don’t forget to donate your odd items to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.
This week, we found a Smoothie: The Instant Home Mixer of Satinsmooth Ice Cream!
At first glance, this may look like some sort of atomic bomb or missile from the Cold War Era; but alas, its duty is much less catastrophic. It’s an ice cream maker! Produced by Ralmac Corp. in Grand Rapids, Michigan, circa 1945, the design of the Smoothie is a definite nod to the time period in which it was created. It’s made of aluminum, but don’t let that fool you. It’s extremely heavy duty in its construction and is about 3 pounds and only 9 inches tall. Apparently the “Smoothie” craze never really caught on, seeing as it is marked as ‘patent pending’ and there is no record of a patent ever being granted.
Even though this “Smoothie” makes ice cream (which itself sounds like a contradiction), the result was not exactly the same as what you and I would call ice cream today. The final product looked more like a slushie than creamy, rich ice cream. For a more detailed example of how the “Smoothie” works I’ve taken photos of the instructions that would have come with this contraption if you’d have bought it about 60 years ago…
Unfortunately our model is missing an integral piece to its operation; the whip holder! Another set-back is that I’m pretty sure Smoothie Whips went out of production more than a few years ago, making it difficult to experience first-hand how the “Smoothie” operates. Even so, if you find one of these in the back of your kitchen drawer it would be a nice vintage decoration and definitely a conversation starter!
Our Rating: Save it!
Design: Interesting…who ever thought an ice cream maker should look like a bullet?
Originality: Excellent! Who ever thought an ice cream maker should look like a bullet?! It’s a creative way to present the seemingly simple task of making ice cream.
Practicality: Mediocre. With the Smoothie Whips out of production, it’s hard to use today. Even at the peak of the “Smoothie” craze, the whip cartridges could only be used once and then were thrown away. Keep in mind, the 1950s was not exactly environmentally friendly.