Today we have some incredible appliances that make our lives that much easier. Technology has developed immensely, especially in the kitchen. An example of this is the good old electric carving knife.
If you have one of these, you know how useful they can be. But who invented the electric carving knife, and where did this device come from? Find out more below.
What Is an Electric Knife?
An electric knife is an automatic appliance designed for slicing foods instead of using a manual carving knife. It has an electric motor which continuously moves two serrated blades lengthways. This repeated sawing motion is what allows you to cut meat and other stuff with them.
Who Thought of This Fantastic Kitchen Tool?
There are conflicting records showing who invented the electric carving knife. Regardless, most people generally agree that the invention is credited to Jerome L Murray.
Clem E. Kosterman – A Missed Opportunity
While Jerome L. Murray usually takes the spotlight, things could have been different. An American inventor, Clem E. Kosterman, filed for a patent in November 1939 for his “Power-Operated Knife”.
You can still see the design today via the Google Patents library, and it is incredibly similar to what we know now as the electric knife. It included blades and a chassis containing a motor and mechanism to automatically move the blades to generate the cutting motion.
For whatever reason, Kosterman didn’t pursue the patent, and the technology didn’t flourish until the 1960s when Murray took over. There is little information available about Kosterman, and it would be interesting to know what happened and why he didn’t push the development of his power-operated knife.
Jerome L. Murray – The First Official Patent
It is commonly recognised that Jerome L. Murray made the first invention of the electric knife in New York, USA. This is actually a much more recent invention than you may expect, and he didn’t file a patent for his design until 1964. Before that, people had to use physical effort to cut up their meat – can you imagine!
Murray was a prolific inventor and started making things at only 15 years old. During his career, this intrepid individual filed 75 different patents for various creations aimed at making life easier for the average American.
Other examples of his work include an aeroplane boarding ramp, TV antenna rotator, audible pressure cooker, and the peristaltic pump. The peristaltic pump was a key development in future medical science, particularly for kidney dialysis.
The electric carving knife remains his most popular kitchen appliance invention, and after the patent was filed, there was much interest. Soon enough, thousands of households around America would be carving their meat joints with ease using his invention.
Are Electric Carving Knives Still Popular Today?
Hugely! Although some people do prefer to carve their meat and foods using traditional tools, many use electric carving knives.
Since Murray’s initial invention in the 1960s, the style, compactness and efficiency of electric knives have improved greatly. For example, most models today have a much smaller body and handle and are a similar size to a screwdriver.
Additionally, the blades are typically more effective and made from more durable materials. The cutting power is usually much more impressive, and these electrical appliances can undoubtedly make a difference in your kitchen.
Now You Can Save Time Using an Electric Carving Knife
Thanks to Jerome L. Murray, we can use this time-saving invention to carve up delicious meat joints effortlessly. Next time you are preparing your Sunday roast, take a minute to thank this genius.