OXO Good Grips Potato Masher

This potato masher has a stainless steel wire head bent in a curved zigzag pattern. It also features OXO’s signature black rubber grip handle with flexible rubber “fins” on both sides of the base of the handle and a hole at the end of the handle for hanging the tool. This potato masher was part of a set of OXO tools used for many years by Elsa Edwards, who developed arthritis but continued to enjoy cooking.
The idea behind OXO Good Grips kitchen tools came to Sam Farber while on vacation. He observed his wife Betsy, who suffered from arthritis, struggling with metal handled kitchen tools. He made a few models of new handle styles and, after returning home to New York, the Farbers worked with the design firm Smart Design to develop OXO Good Grips.
Introduced in 1990, the first Good Grips implements featured contoured rubber handles with flexible “fins” modeled after the grips on bicycle handlebars. These handles were featured in the original line of fifteen products including a vegetable peeler, can opener, and an orange zester. OXO products follow the Universal Design philosophy in which designers take into consideration the greatest variety of needs in order to create products that are usable by as many people as possible. Even the OXO name was chosen with these design principles in mind because it reads the same horizontally, vertically, upside down, or backwards. OXO ads emphasized the comfort and ease of the handles, telling customers to “Hold the tools the way you want to hold them, not some way you’re forced to hold them.”
Object Name
potato masher
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 9 1/2 in; 24.13 cm
masher: 3 1/4 in; 8.255 cm
handle: 4 1/16 in x 1 7/16 in; 10.31875 cm x 3.65125 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food Culture
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
gift of Elsa Edwards

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