Origin of Ralta Crock-Pot design

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    Michael Smythe

    On p.259 the book states: “The Ralta Crock-Pot, which came in two sizes, created and cornered the slow-cooking market from 1976. … None of the Ralta survivors know where the Crock-Pot was designed but it seems different, and better, than the original US product. ”

    The website http://www.crockpot.co.uk/CustomerService.aspx?id=abo says: “It all started in August of 1970 with a simple bean-cooker: a glazed brown crock liner, white steel housing and aluminum lid. What the Crock-Pot® brand did first was expand the cookbook to offer a real practical variety of dishes for the bean-cooker. The brand then redesigned the product’s outer wrapper and added handles and a glass lid. By associating the crockery liner with its pot-like shape, out came the name Crock-Pot® slow cooker. This slow electric stoneware cooker introduced a new category of appliances to the trade in January 1971 and revolutionized the way Americans cooked for their families. It was cooker then introduced in the UK in 2003o

    On Trade Me recently someone was selling a Tower Crock-Pot from the UK with a plastic outer shell very like the Ralta product. So the possibilities are:

    a) The original American Crock-Pot makers came up with this design and Ralta made it under licence (or copied it).

    b) The UK Tower product dates from the mid-1970s (in contradiction of the article quoted above) and Ralta made that under licence (or copied it).

    c) Ralta developed their own design and later they, or Sunbeam in Australia, licenced Tower in the UK to make it.

    d) None of the above …

    So, can you help unravel this mystery?

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