Sunday, June 5, 2011
“The year was 1848. James Polk was the 11th president of the United States. Gold was discovered in California. And Gardner S. Blodgett built his first oven for a local Vermont tavern owner. Things would never be the same in California ... or in the foodservice industry.”
Blodgett Deck Oven
I first saw Blodgett ovens while vacationing in Ohio. I read the accolades about Blodgett ovens and their creator, Gardner S. Blodgett. Who was he and how are we related? We looked for Blodgett ovens wherever we traveled, and did indeed seem to find them everywhere.
“Today, the G. S. Blodgett Corporation is the leading manufacturer of commercial ovens in the world. Restaurants, fast-food chains, hotels, hospitals, institutions, small businesses and large corporations alike rely on the Blodgett name. In fact, their ovens have been in demand overseas since the late 1800s - long before global markets and international trade became the focus of our modern world.
Despite widespread success (or maybe because of it) Blodgett has never strayed from its original goal, or its roots. The G. S. Blodgett Corporation is located in Burlington, Vermont - just 1-1/2 miles from where the company founder and namesake forged a cooking revolution in cast iron over 150 years ago. And while the times and foodservice needs have changed since then, their commitment to building the best remains the same.”
Gardner Spring Blodgett, the son of Luther Palmer and Mary Jefferson Blodgett, was born November 10, 1819 in Rochester, Vermont. He married Sarah Ellis in Burlington, Vermont in 1849. Their only son, Frank Jefferson Blodgett was born there in 1857, and went on to become a prominent New York City Medical Doctor.
Gardner S. Blodgett Civil War officer's commissions, 1861-1864.
Two commissions were issued to Gardner S. Blodgett, the first appointing him as Assistant Quartermaster with the rank of captain, on August 6, 1861, and the second appointing him Assistant Quartermaster on July 6, 1864. Both commissions were signed by Abraham Lincoln, while the first commission was also signed by Thomas A. Scott, Acting Secretary of War and the second commission by Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. The documents both bear engraved images of an eagle, flags, and other military symbols.
He was commissioned as Assistant Quartermaster with the rank of captain on August 6, 1861 and began his duties in Burlington, Vermont, equipping the First Vermont Cavalry Regiment. In 1862 he was ordered to Annapolis to serve as Depot Quartermaster. In 1864 he was sent to Baltimore to serve as Chief Quartermaster of the Eighth Army Corps. He resigned his commission on October 13, 1865. He died in Burlington, Vermont on April 16, 1909.
Gardner Spring Blodgett is a 4th cousin to our Neuman Greenleaf Blodgett, founder of the Mormon branch of the Blodgett family and Utah Pioneer. Their common ancestors are Samuel Blodgett and Huldah Simmons.
G. S. Blodgett Company was founded in 1848 by Gardner Spring Blodgett following his creation of an improved commercial wood-burning oven for a local Vermont tavern owner.
1854 The first patent of an improved product for baking. Created, sold and maintained thousands of ovens throughout the East Coast. Company growth and fame relied on the quality, versatility and reliability of the product. Blodgett ovens were in demand throughout the country, Europe and the world.
1892 John S. Patrick, then secretary and treasurer, purchased the company from G.S. Blodgett. The Patrick family remained involved with the company operations for three generations.
1902 Blodgett began to develop ovens utilizing gas an energy source.
1950s Blodgett pizza deck ovens were introduced.
1960s Convection-style cooking was discovered and Blodgett developed a complete line of gas and electric convection ovens.
Blodgett Rotating Rack Baking Oven
Blodgett Half-size Combi Convection/Steam Oven
1981 Blodgett acquired the assets of J.C. Pitman & Sons, Inc. a New Hampshire based manufacturer of commercial frying equipment. This acquisition was the basis for Pitco Frialator, Inc.
1982 Blodgett acquired Q Industries Food Equipment Company, a small Chicago producer of conveyorized ovens. In 1989, the operation moved to Burlington and is now part of the Blodgett product line.
1985 Blodgett entered into a licensing agreement with a German manufacturer for the distribution of a unique multi-function steamer oven. The first Combi was introduced in the US shortly after. The contract permitted the manufacture of these ovens by Blodgett, which commenced in 1992. When the agreement expired, Blodgett maintained worldwide manufacturing rights. By mid-1994, Blodgett was self sufficient in the manufacture of combinations ovens under the trade name of Blodgett-Combi.
1986 Blodgett purchased MagiKitch'n Equipment Corporation and Quakertown Stove Works, Inc., affiliated companies located near Allentown, Pennsylvania. These companies have been producing high quality commercial broilers for over 50 years. This acquisition continues operating under the MagiKitchn brand name out of Pitco.
1988 J.D. Johnson and Sam Hartwell lead a group of private investors to purchase Blodgett from the Patrick family.
1995 Blodgett International was established as an operating unit of G.S. Blodgett Corporation with a goal to further enhance and expand its export business-an area where it already had over 40 years of experience.
1997 Blodgett was purchased by Maytag Corporation.
1998 Blodgett celebrates its 150th anniversary
2001 Blodgett was purchased by the Middleby Corporation of Elgin, Illinois. At that time, Pitco and MagiKitch'n began to operate as their own entity and Blodgett International was blended into Middleby Worldwide.
2003 The Blodgett Range line was added. The range line includes premium heavy duty ranges, broilers and refrigerated bases.
2004 The Blodgett Steam line was added. The complete line of steam cooking equipment includes convection steamers, steam kettles and braising pans.