My Beloved Bridgeport and KitchenAid

By Lloyd Graff

Two icons of American mechanical ingenuity I encounter every day are my Bridgeport Mill and KitchenAid mixer. It struck me that their fortunes are going in different directions.

This last weekend, just a few days after the announcement arrived that Hardinge Corporation, which owns Bridgeport, is cutting back production at its flagship Elmira, New York, plant, the new movie about chef, Julia Child, Julie and Julia, made its debut.
Julia Child loved her cobalt blue KitchenAid, and it now resides at the Smithsonian museum in Washington.

More than any other personality, her warmth and unflappable style popularized the cooking TV show as a staple of television. For me the best shows on the tube today are on the Food Channel. I find Altan Brown to be the most creative and interesting TV personality on the air. The Tribune company’s stake in the cable channel is the bankrupt company’s most valuable property aside from my beloved Chicago Cubs, which are about to be sold.

Cooking is on the ascent and Whirlpool’s KitchenAid division is still cranking out mixers in the United States and doing well. The K45SS model my wife Risa and I have in our kitchen is used several times each week. It’s 30 years old, but has never faltered. We recently bought a new dough hook for it online and it arrived two days later. The basic product sells for $199.00 on Amazon, which is the same price it sold for 70 years ago.
Bridgeports’s fortunes are not so sanguine. While the product is beautifully designed and still incredibly useful, it has been in decline since it was sold off by Textron to a leveraged buyout firm in 1986. They immediately suffered a strike and struggled financially as CNC competitors eroded Bridgeport’s market dominance. In 2002, Hardinge took over the battered remains of the company, but its fortunes have gone the other way from KitchenAid’s.
I love both my KitchenAid and my Bridgeport. They have both helped make my “bread” for decades without ever failing.

We combed YouTube for our favorite cooking scenes from a popular movie or TV show. What are your favorites? Feel free to embed a clip from YouTube into your comments.


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3 thoughts on “My Beloved Bridgeport and KitchenAid

  1. Emily

    Here’s my favorite food film, Babette’s Feast, in which a famous French Chef is rescued by two very religious costal women who live simply and eat horrible fishy soups day in and out. Babette eventually wins the French lottery and her only wish is to repay the two women who took her in by spending every cent of it on preparing for them and their church group the most magnificent French dinner. The beauty is, they have no idea what they’re eating.

  2. Mr. Beef

    How about the scene from The Godfather when faithful lieutenant Clemenza decides to teach Michael how to cook for twenty men as they prepare to go war with another Mafia family.


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