Veg-O-Matic II


In the 1950s and ‘60s, as home cooks looked for timesaving shortcuts, the popularity of task-specific kitchen gadgets soared. One of the most successful was the Veg-O-Matic, invented by Samuel J. Popeil around 1963. While offering a quick and easy way to cut vegetables into various shapes, the Veg-O-Matic is perhaps best known for ushering in a new era of direct marketing. Popeil’s son, Ron, founded Ronco Inventions and began aggressively selling their products via dramatic demonstrations on late-night television.

While its name suggests a technologically advanced machine, the Veg-O-Matic is manually operated and made of plastic. Cooks push fruits or vegetables through a steel cutting blade that can be changed to produce various sizes of sliced and cubed pieces. Popeil tirelessly demonstrated the device on television while touting its timesaving potential, ease of use, and versatility. The Veg-O-Matic was one of the first products to feature the red and white “As Seen on TV” logo. Popeil’s commercials became famous for the shouted slogan “It slices! It dices!” a tag line that has become a widely used reference in American popular culture.

This Veg-O-Matic was donated by Samuel Popeil’s daughter Lisa in 1985, shortly after her father’s death. It dates from about 1963 and originally sold for $7.77.

Date Made: 1975

Maker: Popeil Brothers, Incorporated

Place Made: United States: Illinois, ChicagoPlace Owned; Place Used: United States: Illinois, Chicago

Subject: Food ProcessingHousehold Tools and EquipmentKitchen utensilsPatentedPlasticsBusinessInvention


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Domestic Life, FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

Exhibition: Food: Transforming the American Table

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: The Popeil Family in memory of Samuel J. Popeil

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1986.0222.1AAccession Number: 1986.0222Catalog Number: 1986.222.1A

Object Name: Cutter, Foodcutter, food

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)aluminum (cutting rings material)steel (cutting blades material)


Record Id: nmah_323705

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