Lightbulb: Off

Feb 22nd, 2010 Posted in reflections | 2 Comments »

"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.