Aluminium pressure cooker and booklet containing instructions and recipes.

The pressure cooker belonged to the donor's aunt, Melva Baker. She married in 1947 and lived in Yarraville, Melbourne. The pressure cooker may have been given to her as a present, or Melva may have bought it herself. A Melva Joyce Baker lived at 279 Hyde Street, Yarraville, according to the 1954 electoral roll. Her occupation was described as 'home duties'. Her weatherboard house is still standing. Melva Joyce Baker passed away in early 2013.

The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) was established in 1936 and manufactured aircraft in its Fisherman's Bend factory before, during and after World War II. After the war other products were manufactured by the CAC as a way of using the company's materials and technologies, including furniture, bathtubs and pressure cookers such as this example.

'CAC' pressure cookers were advertised in Victorian newspapers from 1947 until the early 1950s. They were described as 'the only cooker of its type that has the Automatic Steam Control, which means that it is SAFE and you don't have to stand by to regulate the steam' (Morwell Advertiser , 15 April 1948, p.4). In 1949 they were advertised for £4/17/6 (Shepparton Advertiser, 11 Nov 1949, p.13).

Physical Description

Aluminium pressure cooker with pair of black polymer handles. Comprises pot, lid and strainer basket. The main pot has a long polymer handle and a knob on the opposing side, with a hook for securing and tightening the lid. The lid has a second long polymer handle, which aligns with the pot handle when ready to cook; a hinged rod on the top of the lid is placed in the hook on the pot. Inside, the lid has an outer white rubber seal and an inner black seal, and a series of tabs which correspond with grooves on the pot to lock the lid in place. A spring inside the lid moves under pressure, changing its position against lines visible through a small glass window printed with words 'BOIL / COOK / TOO HOT'. The strainer or cooking basket fits into the pot. It is internally divided into three, with holes at the bottom to drain liquid. A 32-page printed booklet accompanies the pressure cooker.

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