Casco Products Corporation

Casco Products, an industrial-products company, began producing domestic appliances in 1949 with a successful electric iron. Soon after the company was aquired by Standard Kollsman Industries in 1960 it introduced the Lady Casco range of appliances. Pots and pans had long been sold as matching sets that could also be displayed, especially if enameled or colored; the Lady Casco range took this concept one step further. It attempted to “theme” appliances to match the American “dream kitchen,” an inducement to replace existing appliances with a new set all by the same manufacturer. The line of ten matching appliances centered on the Chef Mate, a motor-driven base with a range of attachments, including a mixer and a blender. The rest of the Lady Casco set consisted of a toaster, coffeepot, iron, and frying pan.

If this approach was novel, so was the method of marketing the products. The line was to be offered to stores on a franchise arrangement with the added gimmick that each set carried an exclusive five-year guarantee backed by Lloyd’s of London! By the close of 1961 over 2,000 stores had signed up to the franchise deal and sales were encouraging. Then in 1962 the parent company decided to abandon the project and the Lady Casco program was discontinued. In 1963 the appliance section of the business was acquired by Hamilton Beach.

Most domestic appliances follow a “house style,” and smaller pieces such as toasters and kettles have been themed to complement each other, even if sold separately. A recent trend has been the marketing of “double” or “triple packs” of products by manufacturers like Hinari, Breville, and Morphy Richards. These usually consist of a toaster and a kettle, the third element being either a sandwich toaster or a coffeemaker.