I have a brother who knows I am absolutely crazy about vintage kitchen utensils. He picked up this push whisk for me and was quite pleased with the purchase.
It is an interesting whisk, though I have seen others similar in design. This particular push whisk is made up of three twisted steel wires to make the 'stem', which attaches on one end into a metal tube and the other end into a brass or steel fitting. The metal tube has a spring in it to help facilitate the wire 'stem' to go up and down as you push on the wood ball end. The fitting end holds eleven wire circles evenly spaced as well as the 'stem' in place.
To use the whisk, you place it looped wire circles down into a bowl, then push the top down and up to make the wire circle end turn in your liquid mix.
As a child, I remember making whip cream at my grandmother's home. She used a hand crank mixer in a tall crock bowl. It would take quite a bit of time to whip up the cream using that mixer. So I can only imagine how long it would take pumping this baby, not to mention the workout on your arm.
The problems that can arise from some of these old utensils comes from the materials and overall construction.
- Steel, uncoated tends to rust
- Open areas or tight nooks are difficult to get clean, so food particals linger and go rancid, potentially going into 'new, clean' food upon the next use
- paint from the bulb end could contain led, which over time flakes off
This particular whisk measures about 10 1/2" long, the circle at the bottom is approximately 2 1/2" in diameter. The wood handle portion is in nice condition, though the red paint is flaking off. Overall the entire piece is in lovely shape, it works well, and though I would love to try making some whip crème with it, I doubt I will, as there is just too much 'old' food particles lingering in those nooks and crannies. Maybe a good clean with some bleach, a wire scrubber might get it somewhat clean, but I shall leave it be.