Easy-Bake Oven: A Staple of American Girlhood

nationalgeographic.com

I still can’t get over that you can bake something with a light bulb. You waited in eager anticipation for your coveted toy oven. Squealed when it arrived, and as you opened it. But once the parts were all put together, and you discovered the light bulb wasn’t included in the box the patina slightly wore off.

Apart from being a staple of American girlhood, the Easy-Bake Oven the responsible for more than a few of molten (aka raw) centered cakes. Despite its less than ideal confections, the Easy Bake Oven was a hit from day one when it debuted in November of 1963.

Todd Coopee is a toy collector, who was inspired to assemble every known model of EBOs for a book looking back at the ovens 50-year history entitled Light Bulb Baking: A History of the Easy-Bake Oven.

The Easy-Bake has been a significant part of many people’s childhood, explained the effervescent collector. Unlike some other activity-based toys, the Easy-Bake Oven produced something real, something you could proudly present, share and eat.

Coopee grew up surrounded by food. His parents owned and operated a bakery in suburban Massachusetts for over 25 years, but it wasn’t till his sister got her first EBO that he started paying any attention to baking.

In many ways, it is a rite of passage for kids: it lets them emulate something they see adults do, said Coopee. It remains one of the most realistic things they can do and learning to cook is an important skill. And from a parental perspective, it was fairly safe.

The Easy-Bake Oven was a staple of all-American girlhood. Did you get food poisoning from an old packet of baking mix, or do you still crave the molten centers to its cake-like creations? Share and comment below!

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