Toaster and more art by Alan MacMasters

Toaster, 1893

In 1893, Scottish scientist Alan MacMasters attempted to use a cheaper metal for his lighting filaments - causing his new lamps to overheat so much that nearby bread began to brown. Inspired by the accident, he invented the first toaster by building four electric elements of the same material on a ceramic frame. Though this version was prone to melting and thus a significant fire hazard, it paved the way for the first commercially successful model 16 years later.

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