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A blender, or liquidiser in British English, is a kitchen appliance used to mix ingredients or puree food. The term typically refers to a stationary, upright electrical device, which is to be distinguished from a hand-powered or electric mixer that may be used for similar purposes. Blenders are also used in laboratory applications.

The blending container can be made of glass, plastic, stainless steel, or porcelain, and often has graduated markings for approximate measuring purposes. At the top of the container is a lid to prevent ingredients from escaping during operation. At the bottom is a blade assembly, sometimes removable for cleaning purposes. In cases where the blades are removable, the container should have an o-ring between the body of the container and the base to seal the container and prevent the contents from leaking.

The container rests upon a base that contains a motor for turning the blade assembly and has controls on its surface. Most modern blenders offer a number of possible speeds. Low-powered blenders require some liquid to be added for the blender to operate correctly. This is because the liquid is used to move the solids around the jar and bring it in contact with the blade as the "whirlpool" fluid movement brings items from the top to the bottom. High-powered blenders are capable of milling grains and crushing ice without such assistance.

Another type of blender is the immersion blender. This has no container of its own, but instead has a mixing head with blades that can be immersed in a pot of soup, for example.

Some of the functions of blenders have been taken over by food processors. In particular, thicker mixtures such as mayonnaise and hummus are easier to make in food processors.


Blenders are used both in home and commercial kitchens for various purposes:

to mix and crush ice in cocktails such as the Zombie, Pi�a Colada and frozen margaritas

to crush ice and other ingredients in non-alcoholic drinks such as Frappucinos and smoothies

to emulsify mixtures

to make smooth pur�es of semi-solid ingredients, such as cooked vegetables and meat

to reduce small solids such as spices and seeds to powder or nut butters

to blend mixtures of powders, granules, and/or liquids thoroughly

to help dissolve solids into liquids

Blenders also have a variety of applications in microbiology and food science. In addition to standard food-type blenders, there is a variety of other configurations of blender for laboratories.


It is popularly believed that Dr. Oliver Johnson Schofield, an English engineer and entrepreneur, invented the first electric blender in 1921. However, Stephen J. Poplawski, owner of the Stevens Electric Company, patented the drink mixer in 1922 to make Horlicks malted milk shakes at soda fountains. He also introduced the liquefier blender in 1922. Stevens Electric was sold to Oster Manufacturing, a manufacturer of barber equipment, in 1946. Oster commercialized the liquefier blender under the trademark Osterizer. Oster was bought by Sunbeam Products in 1960.

In 1935, Fred Osius invented another kind of blender. He approached Fred Waring, a popular musician who financed and promoted the "Miracle Mixer", which was commercialized in 1937 by Waring Products, now part of Conair. Waring popularized the smoothie in the 1940s. Waring long used the spelling "blendor" for its product.

With the rising popularity of smoothies, Frappucinos and other frozen drinks prepared in front of the customer, new models of commercial blenders often include a sound-reducing enclosures and computerized controls.

Specialized blenders for making smoothies are becoming popular, chiefly resembling an ordinary model with a spigot added for quick serving. Some models also feature a gimballed stirring rod mounted on the lid, constructed so that mixtures can be stirred whilst the machine is running with no chance of the stirrer fouling the blades.

Mechanical operation

The powertrain of a blender.

A blender consists of a housing, motor, blades, and food container. A fan-cooled electric motor is secured into the housing by way of vibration dampers, and a small output shaft penetrates the upper housing and meshes with the blade assembly. Usually, a small rubber washer provides a seal around the output shaft to prevent liquid from entering the motor. Most blenders today have multiple speeds.

History Of Blender
By Mary Bellis

In 1922, Stephen Poplawski invented the blender. For those of you who have never been in a kitchen or a bar, a blender is a small electric appliance (see picture left) that has a tall container and blades that chop, grind and puree food and beverages. Stephen Poplawski was the first to put a spinning blade at the bottom of a container. He used his appliance to make soda fountain drinks. In 1935, Fred Osius improved on Poplawski's idea and invented the famous Waring Blender. 

In 1910 L.H. Hamilton, Chester Beach and Fred Osius formed the Hamilton Beach Manufacturing Co that became well known for their kitchen appliances. Fred Osius later began working on ways to improve the Poplawski blender

History of the Waring Blender
Fred Waring, a one-time Penn State architectural and engineering student, was always fascinated by gadgets. He first achieved fame fronting the big band, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, but the blender
made Waring a household name.

Fred Waring was the financial source and marketing force that thrust the Waring Blender into the marketplace, however, Fred Osius invented and patented the famous blending machine in 1933. Fred Osius knew that Fred Waring had a fondness for new inventions, and Osius need money to make improvements to his blender. Talking his way into Fred Waring's dressing room following a live radio broadcast in New York�s Vanderbilt Theatre, Osius pitched his idea and received a promise from Waring to back further research.

Six months and $25,000 later, the blender still suffered technical difficulties. Undaunted, Waring dumped Fred Osius and had the blender redesigned once again. In 1937, the Waring-owned Miracle Mixer blender was introduced to the public at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago retailing for $29.75. In 1938, Fred Waring renamed his Miracle Mixer Corporation as the Waring Corporation, and the mixer's name was changed to the Waring Blender.

Fred Waring went on a one-man marketing campaign that began with hotels and restaurants he visited while touring with his band, and later spread to upscale stores such as Bloomingdale�s and B. Altman's. Waring once touted the Blender to a St. Louis reporter saying, "�this mixer is going to revolutionize American drinks." And it did.

The Waring Blender became an important tool in hospitals for the implementation of specific diets, as well as a vital scientific research device. Dr. Jonas Salk used it while developing the vaccine for polio. In 1954, the millionth Waring Blender was sold, and it is still as popular today.

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