A Toast to Charles Strite!

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As you know, heat treating is near and dear to our hearts here at KHT. Everyday we strive to “make history” with our efficiency, consistency, performance and reliability, never taking for granted any one of our customers or customer’s jobs.

Well, nearly 100 years ago, a gentleman named Charles Strite also contributed to heat treating history, by patenting something we’ve come to rely on each morning – the pop-up toaster. (Filed for U.S. patent on May 29, 1919. Patent #1,394,450 was granted on October 18, 1921 for the pop-up bread toaster)

He hated that the toast in the cafeteria of the plant where he worked was always burned because it required a busy human to keep an eye on it. So he took on this PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job and figured out a way to automate the toasting process so it wouldn’t burn.

Before the electric toaster, sliced bread was toasted by placing it in a metal frame or on a toasting fork and held over a fire or kitchen grill. The first electric toaster was actually invented in Scotland in 1893. It was a crude device known as the Eclipse. It still relied on users to end the toasting process and was not very fire safe.

So, while some tried to flip the bread, it was Mr. Strite who invented the automatic pop-up toaster. History shows many innovations since – dual sided toasting, wider slots, auto-drop feeds, and numerous interior and exterior material innovations.

This weekend, make yourself some toast and thank crafty Mr. Strite for tackeling this PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job. Oh, and try one of my favorite toppings – honey. Yum!




We All “Deserve A Break Today”

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McDonald’s. Still one of my favorite places to eat.

It’s hard to image “micky dees” started 75 years ago today as a single restaurant and has grown to become the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants (70 million customers a day in 119 countries across more than 35,000 outlets) – WOW. Coming from a family of 18 (I’ll save that for another post), as a kid, going to McDonald’s was a big deal – my own burger, fries and a drink.

Founded by the McDonald brothers Richard and Maurice, McDonals’s started out selling hotdogs, and then converted to a simple barbecue restaurant in San Bernardino, CA. It became “McDonaldized” in 1948, and then franchised by the famous Ray Kroc. Ray had a simple vision applying production line thinking to the business – quality materials in – quality finished products (and happy customers) out.

As a businessman, I really appreciate the core of their business – consistency (something very near and dear to us here at KHT) and their guiding principles (QSC – Quality, Service and Cleanliness). When I get the urge for a Big Mac and fries, no matter where I am, I can almost taste the food, and know it’s going to be good – (I’m still hooked on the fries).

At Kowalski Heat Treating, we strive every day to meet your requirements and to delight our customers – and we love it when you return again and allow us to apply our knowledge and skill to your never ending PIA (pain in the @%$) jobs. My guys take great pride in delivering for you, load after load.

40 years ago, my dad, Robert Kowalski, had a vision – to provide top quality heat treating to area customers and help them grow their businesses. His principles are still with us today – honesty, family, hard work, integrity, quality, and faith. And as we celebrate our anniversary this year, we in a way salute the McDonald brothers in their vision.

So next time you are in the area, swing by, and we’ll go treat ourselves at McDonald’s – as I’m sure you deserve a break too. And just for fun, call my voicemail at (216-641-4411) and sing me your best rendition of the Big Mac jingle – I’ll pick my favorites and send you one of our brand spankin’ new KHT coffee mugs.