While waffle irons may have existed in Europe for centuries before they were introduced in the U.S., Cornelius Swartwout patented the first U.S. waffle iron on August 24, 1869. This provided yet another continent with an alternative to the two-dimensional pancake. A number of websites refer to August 24 as “National Waffle Day” in the U.S. for this reason.
Coincidentally, one of our neighbors is hosting a potluck this weekend, so I plan to bake some vegan waffles in honor of Cornelius. (If only they had known that eggs and dairy aren’t necessary for waffles back in 1869…) Regardless of where you live, I’d love to hear if you do the same! And should they come out exceptionally well, express your excitement with the “Woot!” of the waffle world: “Wout!”
You can read more about Mr. Swartwout’s important contribution at the Swarthout Family pages. (From what I can tell, the spelling of the last name has taken on different versions over the years.)
If you live in a country with a much longer waffle maker heritage, and have any information on the history, feel free to comment and share with us what you know!