My Dad, Irving Naxon, invented the crock pot, the then-called Naxon Beanery. He retired in 1971 and sold his business to Rival Manufacturing. They streamlined the design, renamed it the crock pot, and the rest is American culinary history. But what was his inspiration for its creation in the first place, you might ask?
My grandmother Tamara Kaslovski Nachumsohn, grew up in a small “shtetl” in Lithuania. She told my dad, when he was a young child, that when she was growing up back in the old country, each Friday afternoon her mother would send her to the local bakery with their pot of prepared but yet uncooked “cholent.” There it would be put into the oven for a full day, while the family observed the Sabbath and the hot oven cooled to warm while not in use for that same period. At sundown she would go to the bakery and bring the family their delicious pot of steamy stew.
Dad remembered the story and was inspired to find a way to create a heating element that surrounded the pot in the same way that an oven would have. He wanted to find a low cost, low electricity use solution. I remember our having a Beanery at home during the 1950′s and 1960′s. We used it to “boik” potatoes, roast corn, make delicious stews and soups. Mom used to put old fashioned oatmeal in it before we went to bed and we woke up to a steaming pot of hot cereal.
Today, the crock pot is central to American cooking. My dad, who passed away in 1989, would have been proud. He had over 200 patents in his name, and his creative mind has influenced our lives in many ways. I’m proud too.
This post was submitted by Lenore Naxon.