It wasn't until the early 1900's that electric toasters became commercially available. With this type of toaster one would have to put a piece of bread in either or both sides, then you would shut the compartment and wait a bit. Then you would take the bread out, flip it over, and start all over again. This toaster was made by Alco Degree Co. of Chicago Illinois. It dates back to the 1930s and 1940s.