By:  James F. O’Neil

When we sorted out our wedding gifts in October 1963, my wife and I had received some nice dishes, stainless tableware, pots and pans, and enough cash to allow us to enjoy a comfortable wedding night and honeymoon. 

And so we began our marriage.  And the cooking of meals.  Our pots and pans provided their usefulness, as needed.  Sometime after 1972, however, we acquired “the incomparable, the original” Rival Crock-Pot, a new item of interest for the cooks of the ‘70s. 

The original slow-cooker pot was actually known as a “beanery” and was made for cooking up a pot of beans.  The item was marketed as “The Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker.”  (See Whoguides.com for more information and Wikipedia for a history of the cooker.)

naxon beanery all-purpose cooker  (Photo courtesy of an eBay seller)

As often happens with many good inventions, larger companies see a greater audience and “want in on the deal.”  Eventually, Naxon was bought out by the Rival Company in 1971.

And so it goes.  Yet for the better for us, a target audience who needed to have meals prepared by a cooker that “cooks all day while the cook’s away.”  The burnt-orange-colored Rival Crock-Pot, Model No. 3100, Capacity 3 ½ qt, was the answer.

 (Photo: freshveggiesinthedesert.wordpress)

(Photo: freshveggiesinthedesert.wordpress)


Over time, the crock-pot became a “modern marvel” for our busy family.  It first allowed both of us working parents to make the Favorite Chili and the special Beef Stew for our kids in school.  Then other recipes, like Stuffed Peppers, became the new favorites–in fact, still one of the best food items to be done in the crock-pot.

The boys going to games and practices, after-play-rehearsals, high school graduation parties (in 1982 and 1985), wedding anniversaries, and just plain-old family gatherings  activated the recipes for the best B-B-Q ’s and Sloppy Joe’s, well done in our Vintage Rival Crock-Pot.

But change came–and for whatever reason, we purchased a bigger, newer model.  The old favorite was put into storage, and nearly forgotten.

In summer 2005, the Vintage happy crock-pot made its way to Cottage #66 in Epworth Park, Bethesda, Ohio.  The well-worn recipe book is still being splattered with sauce, and continues to provide guidance for delicious meals in the cottage kitchen–now for busy vacationers.  The cooker still “cooks all day while the cook’s away.”

(The O'Neil Crock-Pot)

(The O’Neil Crock-Pot)

 © James F. O’Neil 2013

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