Lightbulb: Off

"Dad & Sister Easy Bake" image by shazam791/tlk

Today a memorial service was held for Ronald Howes, Sr. If the name Ronald Howes doesn’t ring a bell, his claim to fame surely will. Mr. Howes was the inventor of Kenner’s Easy-Bake Oven, and he died last Tuesday.

I never had an Easy-Bake Oven, and I was envious of my friends who did. But why didn’t I have one, and why was I jealous?

By second grade – when the Easy-Bake was all the rage – I was already cooking attempting to cook. In fact, my mom was the one who told me I didn’t need an Easy-Bake Oven, because I was already making “real” food. She was right. But the Easy Bake Oven undoubtedly inspired lots of little kids to bake. I can easily remember the plastic smell of the little brownies that my friends made under that 100-watt light bulb.

Instead of an Easy-Bake Oven, I had an Incredible Edibles kit that made gooey, gummy worms and insects to eat.

Kenner’s Easy-Bake Oven has been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Incredible Edibles, incredulously, has not.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010 at 7:23 pm and is filed under reflections. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.



Hey Jen, I loved my pink easy bake oven AND envied my brother’s incredible edibles. While both produced horrible tasting “food,” I saw a new easy bake oven in a store window the other day and it still looked very cool. My nostalgia for that particular toy must have something to do with Proust’s madeleine: all those sensory memories…
See you in Seattle?

February 23rd, 2010 at 9:40 am

I haven’t seen a new Easy-Bake Oven! I can’t decide if I want to go find an image or not. Some things might be better left to nostalgia :-)

Yes, you’ll see me in Seattle…eventually.

February 23rd, 2010 at 9:43 am