"Piccolo" universal household appliance and "Do-It-Yourself" tool kit

 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Everyday Life
Household Technology
Everyday Life - directions for use
1960 - 1969
  • Dr. Roswitha Muttenthaler
Mixing, grating, grinding, juice extraction, vacuum cleaning, blow-drying, disinfecting, spray-painting, sawing, drilling, sanding - the Piccolo can do all of this if the motor is combined with the corresponding attachment.

Kitchen appliances in the shape of a motor and a variety of attachment options are also being used nowadays, but none of them is as versatile as the Piccolo. It uses the same motor for kitchen work, household cleaning, blow-drying and do-it-yourself activities. Its multifaceted range of accessories turns the central motor from a mixer into a vacuum cleaner and from a hair dryer into a sanding machine.

The universal household appliance on exhibit at the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum) can be used as a mixer, shredder, juice extractor, vacuum cleaner, floor brush, spraying machine as well as a tool for sawing, drilling and sanding. Other applications which would be possible with the right accessories would be coffee grinding, hair drying and polishing. In order to, for example, use the motor as a kitchen machine standing next to a table, it is placed onto a support rim. The attachments are snapped into place on the connection fitting on top. The opening sealed by a restrictor plug is for attaching the vacuum cleaner accessory etc. A handle on the motor makes it possible to also use the machine as a hand-held device.

This combination of functions is typical for the time from about 1925 – 1965 when electrical devices were initially introduced to the households. In the beginning, they were luxury items, from the 1950s onwards they became affordable. This was also when the electricity grid – which is taken for granted nowadays – was expanded to supply all households. At a later stage, the universal appliances were separated more according to areas of application.

From approx. 1925 onwards, electric motors became an innovatory force for saving time and energy in the household. After his invention of the alternating current induction motor, Nicola Tesla - together with the Westinghouse Company - introduced a simple small electric motor with ventilator to the market in 1889. This was when small electric motors started being used in households too.

Inv.Nr. 31845

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