Sony’s Failed Rice Cooker


In 1945, just after the end of World War II, Sony–which wasn’t even Sony yet, the company’s name was Tokyo Telecommunications Research Institute–decided to make a household appliance that the thousands of Japanese homes with electricity might use. Enter the electric rice cooker.

Obviously, this seems like a pretty good bet. Of course homeowners would want gadgets to use the electricity, and in Japan, how could you lose with a gadget that makes rice?

Unfortunately, it was a great idea with terrible implementation.

The rice cooker ended up being a wooded bucket with some aluminum electrodes on the bottom, and, depending on the electrical current the cooker was hooked up to, the cooker either prepared crunchy rice or mushy rice.

Of course, the Japanese Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Toshiba jumped on the band wagon not long after, resulting in much more effective rice cookers.

Via Gizmodo and Wikipedia.

This entry was posted in Culture, Gadgets, History by spikemarlowe. Bookmark the permalink.

About spikemarlowe

Spike Marlowe and her Siamese twin sister were born to academics in Provo, Utah during the region’s speculative fiction renaissance. Since her teenage years, when Spike’s parents and sister entered the Federal Witness Protection Program--which necessitated the surgical separation of Spike from her sister (if you buy her a couple drinks and ask nicely, Spike may show you the scars)--she has held a variety of odd jobs, including a performer in a wild west show, detective, Bigfoot researcher and writer for an Internet content farm. Recently she found her calling as a Bizarro author. When she’s not writing fiction she works as a street busker in San Francisco. At night she fights crime. Her first novel, Placenta of Love, will be released by Eraserhead Press in November 2011.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s