Snippets from our past | It is an Australian invention?

The Jaffle Iron was designed, named and patented in Australia in June 1949 by Dr Ernest E. Smithers, a Bondi medico who moved to the Little Bay Hospital post 1945.

Aussie Creativity: The Jaffle Iron was classed as a 'Pressure Toaster' and this is embossed, with the name 'Jaffle' on the cast iron lid.

Aussie Creativity: The Jaffle Iron was classed as a 'Pressure Toaster' and this is embossed, with the name 'Jaffle' on the cast iron lid.

Did you know that the humble 'Jaffle' iron is not as old as you may think, and it is an Australian invention?

The Jaffle Iron was designed, named and patented in Australia in June 1949 by Dr Ernest E. Smithers, a Bondi medico who moved to the Little Bay Hospital post 1945.

He had resided in Bondi for ten years before that, and that is where he invented not only the Jaffle Iron (Australian Design Office registered Number 27089), but also the Surfoplane!" reported by John Ruffles.

The Surfoplane was invented in 1933 and Dr Smithers was backed with this venture by the aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.

The Jaffle Iron was classed as a 'Pressure Toaster' and this is embossed, with the name 'Jaffle' on the cast iron lid.

According to an article by 'Australian Food History Timeline', "Jaffles were touted as 'the latest cookery creation for all the family to enjoy'.

They were considered trendy enough for entertaining as well". In 1949, the Western Mail in Perth proclaimed:

Really useful for everyday cooking as well as parties is the Jaffle Iron which is very simple to use and produces a most appetising toast "pie."

All that you do is make a thick sandwich and, after clamping it shut in the iron, heat it over a flame.

It may be used over any type of heat and we suggest that if you are having a barbecue it might be an idea to provide your guests with three or four bowls of appetising filling and let them make their own."

Food manufactures caught on to the latest food trend and in 1950 grocers were advertising a new line for the Jaffle iron including 'Edgell Bolognaise Mince Beef and Spaghetti'.

When I was young, a treat was and Jaffle with a fried egg and salad - tomato, beetroot, cheese, onion and sometimes a pineapple ring.

This is still a favourite winter lunch for my family.

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About the museum

In 1992 Nyngan Museum opened its doors but the official opening was performed by Laurie Neville from Radio 2CR (Orange) on May 24, 1994.

The 1990 Flood destroyed many historical items and personal belongings of the townspeople so the museum was established to gather and preserve historical data and artifacts for future generations.