I have been noticing that a trend is surfacing on Facebook – Throwback Thursday. Seeing the old pictures of my friends and family have brought a smile to my face and at times even a chuckle as they bring back some wonderful memories. So I have been thinking about how I could use this in the blog. And as I look around the house, I realized that it is filled with many vintage items (of course I am not referring to Murray and myself!). So I have decided to feature one of my interesting treasures as part of Throwback Thursday.
Anyone familiar with this? It clearly says that it is a Conservo, Manufactured by the Swartzbaugh Mfg Co., Toledo, Ohio U.S.A. But what in the world does it do? And what is my cat Sam doing photo bombing the picture?
The Conservo was a revolutionary “wonder home appliance” that was advertised to make cooking and canning easy. Manufactured in the early 1900’s and sold for $12.00, the Conservo was guaranteed to bring health and happiness to the home by providing “healthful cooking and canning” and releasing the housewife “from tedious, fatiguing kitchen work and allowing “time to get out, to entertain friends, to sew, to do other things more interesting at the moment”.
The Conservo was designed to fit over a single burner of a gas, oil, coal or wood stove. It was made of heavy tin with a copper bottom water tank that could hold several quarts of water to provide the steam for canning and/or cooking. This model, the family-size Conservo No. 20 has space for four removable shelves for fourteen quart jars of fruit, meat or vegetables or for an entire dinner! The square baking dish will hold enough of any meat or vegetables to feed an entire family.
A picture of the top showing the handles and the whistle that blows when more water is needed in the copper tank.
I was lucky to get this Conservo at an auction several years ago. I can’t remember how much I paid, but I don’t think it was more than $80.00. A real bargain for the excellent condition that it is in. And I was even more thrilled to find the instruction book! Although the book is not in as good of condition as the Conservo it is very readable and quite priceless to me.
And more excitement when I opened up the book and found a letter from J.B. Swartzbaugh and an order blank!
The first page of the instruction book.
Wow! The Conservo has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval!
This book is just fascinating. Full of recipes, testimonials and first-hand experiences of this wonderful invention!
And finally, the endorsement of men of how important the Conservo is to their wives and the comfort in knowing that the Conservo is ready if THEY have to do the cooking!!!!
Hope you enjoyed this step-back in time.
Thanks for stopping by!!!!
Pat, Kathi, and Carla