A Look Back at the Kitchen Gadgets of Yesteryear - Single Handed

Have you ever had a party and thought, ‘You know what I need? A wooden butter stamp.’ No? Me neither. But back in times gone by this was one of the kitchen basics. 

Stay with us as we show you a whole new world of kitchen gadgets that you never knew you needed. Who knows, with some digging around on the internet, you might be able to find some for your kitchen! 

Let us know if you know from experience what any of these ‘tools’ are or even if you still have one! If so then we are jealous and please enjoy it!


Here are our favourite 10 kitchen gadgets of the time. We hope it peaks your fancy as much as it peaked ours!

1. The Victorian Ice Mold 

You may have seen this on TV before. It is my absolute favourite item on this list. Victorians had their cooks create masterpieces out of ice, ready to amaze their guests. They had to be clever because using ice in the kitchen was still a new thing and their designs would melt. We’ve added an image of just how intricate some of these designs would turn out so you can see why they excited us that much. 

Kitchen gadgets
Kitchen gadgets


2. The Cake Slicer

Ok we love this one because it looks nothing like what it is. This deadly looking kitchen gadget is actually used to slice cakes like angel cake. The perfectly sharp, straight prongs cut through to make even our cakes worthy of the queen! Definitely useful in my opinion!


Kitchen gadget


3.  The Butter Stamp 

The Victorians really did love things being in a pretty mold. Their dinner tables had to look exquisite with enough food to feed the whole village but actually it was only for one party. There was no exception, even butter had to look pretty. These wooden stamps were a great way for the cooks to shape the butter in different designs quickly and easily. I don’t know about you but I would quite like my butter in the shape of a butterfly. Guaranteed, that would make you smile in the morning!

Kitchen gadget 

4. Coffee Percolator 

I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t old. Well no but the actual machine is and I would rather have this in my house than a French press. Made from silver, beautifully ornate and with a release at the front of it, this old coffee machine is everything it needs to be. I can just tell that this would produce the best coffee I have ever had. Unfortunately we’ll just have to deal with instant until we can get out of lockdown and go searching through the antique shops. 

Kitchen gadgets


5. Metal Mold 

Another of my favourites is the victorian metal mold. Used for cakes, pies, ice and literally anything else you can think of, they love it! Pies were made to be centre pieces with different levels and designs that told a story they were meant to be talked about late into the night. People could see how much wealth you had from how good your cook was so it was really something to show off. We use cake tins today but on a much simpler level. Now we are more fond of a circle or a simple square in contrast to a pie in the shape of a pineapple.

Kitchen gadgets


6. The Egg Poacher

Here is one you might have in your kitchen, just it may look a bit different. The humble egg poacher. You add the eggs into their compartments and then add boiling water in the pan around them. You put it on the oven top or on a fire and wait for them to cook. It’s a design that worked so well they didn’t really need to change it. I love mine and maybe this will encourage you to dig yours out from the bottom of whatever cupboard it’s been sat in. 

Kitchen gadgets


7. The Food Mill

This is such an easy kitchen gadget that would have been used a lot when it first came out. The food mill was used to basically mush food down and make it smooth. It would have been great for mashed potatoes, apple sauce and even baby food. Cooks would have used it to make their work easier and faster as it meant they didn’t have to do certain things by hand. We still have similar things like this now. Does it look like anything in your kitchen? 

Kitchen gadget


8. The Slicer

The slicer is an item that was really useful for cutting things like eggs and cheese. I actually have a more compact version of this in my kitchen draw which I use to slice boiled eggs and use it every time I add one to my salad for example. So whoever made this kitchen gadget was pretty smart. 

Kitchen gadgets


9. Victorian Processor 

This item just looked way too cool. True victorian craftsmanship is shown in the mechanics of this processor. You can see how each piece works to turn the mixer. It would have been extremely useful back then and helped with making the daily bread and cakes. Not quite the size of one from today but it will probably last longer! 

Kitchen gadget


10. Ice Shaver 

Finally for number 10 we finish on the ice shaver. Definitely not as old as my other picks but just as quirky and fun. Nowadays we have fries that break ice fr us or we can just buy crushed ice. But wouldn’t it be fine to just make it yourself at home with one of these! Ice cones all around! 

Kitchen gadgets


We hope you enjoyed that little trip to yesteryear with us here at Single Handed. All of these items were made to be incredibly useful at their time. As a company we ai to only bring you products that will make your life easier and more helpful. We don’t have any metal ice molds but we do have a pretty nifty tray called the Tipsi Tray. Take a look here and see.

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