Cuisinart Food Processor

Chuck Williams, the founder of a successful chain of retail stores (Williams-Sonoma) specializing in kitchenware and household furnishings, began his work in Sonoma, California in 1953. He brought professional and restaurant quality cookware, marketed through mail order catalogues and high design stores, to an American market that looked beyond its domestic roots for food and cookware. Williams, a great home cook, used the products he brought to an American audience including his original Cuisinart and several other models. Williams eventually gave this one, c. 1978, to the Smithsonian.
American inventor Carl Sontheimer developed the Cuisinart food processor as a more domestic version of the semi-industrial French Robot Coupe. In contrast to classic French techniques that call for everything to be prepared painstakingly by hand, the food processor quickly dispatches all the beating, pounding, mixing, mincing, and sieving common to “La Technique.”
Sontheimer gave Cuisinarts to Julia Child and to Chuck Williams, who began selling the machine in his stores. When Julia Child demonstrated cooking around the country, she carried her new favorite cooking tool with her, increasing its exposure to home cooks. When Julia used it, cooks then demanded it, and entrepreneurs like Williams provided these new things that Julia and others had inspired new cooks to use. The regularly improved versions have been best-selling kitchen appliances since their introduction in the early 1970’s.
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 15 in x 7 in x 9 1/2 in; 38.1 cm x 17.78 cm x 24.13 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Food Processing
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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