Saturday, October 11, 2008


In the 1970s, a man called John O'Brien sniffed the wind and saw the world was changing.
It wasn't just bad fashion and big hair. More women were entering the work force and families were looking for quicker ways to cook dinner. John had six kids, and when they went camping, they loved the jaffles they cooked over the fire so much he decided to import some toasted sandwich-makers from the only place in the world where they were being made: Belgium. He used Newcastle as a testing ground and they sold like hot sandwich-makers. John then tried to get 250,000 more, but the Belgians told him no. "Stuff 'em! I'll build my own," he thought, "but mine will be better." Toasted sandwiches back then were too big and too messy: a culinary treat that was booby-trapped. And when you bit into it, anything could happen. John invented the scissors action, which automatically cut and sealed your toasted sanger. The late John O'Brien patented the scissors action and turned the world of toasted sangers upside down. His company, Breville, have now sold over 23 million sandwich-makers around the world. John O'Brien, we salute you.

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