Above: Promotional image for the General Electric’s Partio Cart, 1956.
With the post war boom and an abundance of cheap electricity there was a plethora of electrical appliances made available to the American consumer. From electric frying pans and plug-in dedicated egg boilers to the electric razer there was no area of everyday life that could not be made better with electricity. The Partio Cart, introduced by General Electric in 1956, was an attempt at bringing the kitchen outside. An all-in-one electric range, charcoal barbecue, and rotisserie it evoked America’s sense of optimism during the Eisenhower era. In fact president Dwight D. Eisenhower owned a Partio Cart, which he kept at his Palm Springs home.
While it may have seemed a good idea at the time the Partio Cart was not a successful product for General Electric. An expensive item it sold poorly and the American public seemed content with charcoal when it came to cooking outside – or perhaps they thought it unwise to keep a large electrical appliance poolside.
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