See more objects with the tag green, food preparation, kitchen, tool, plastic, chrome.

This and 3 other objects are a part of a set whose first object is Kitchen Tools.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.


  • Work on this object began.


  • Work on this object ended.



  • You found it!

Potato Masher

This is a Potato masher. It was designed by Henry Dreyfuss. It is dated ca. 1935. Its medium is chrome-plated steel, steel wire, painted wood. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Henry Dreyfuss is widely recognized as one of the most prominent early industrial designers, and this suite of kitchen utensils illustrates the character of his early works. The Washburn Company hired Dreyfuss to update its line of kitchen tools in 1934; the company’s president John S. Tomajan had already met with several practitioners featured in Fortune’s seminal article on industrial designers published in February that same year. Tomajan was turned off by the “cocksureness” of the other designers but was drawn to the young Dreyfuss’s earnest and straightforward manner. Dreyfuss set out to reshape the Washburn line in terms of both form and color, perceiving the commission not as a challenge to create one universal tool, but a series of purpose-specific objects that put function and usability at the fore. He expanded the collection to include diverse array of objects such as the potato masher, slotted spoon, and spatula in this group. The various utensils were united by the bright colors in which they were produced: red, yellow, and green.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 26.7 × 10.2 × 7.6 cm (10 1/2 in. × 4 in. × 3 in.)

Cite this object as

Potato Masher; Designed by Henry Dreyfuss (American, 1904–1972); chrome-plated steel, steel wire, painted wood; H x W x D: 26.7 × 10.2 × 7.6 cm (10 1/2 in. × 4 in. × 3 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-85

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Potato Masher |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=1 April 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>