Toast rack

Toast rack

A toast rack - or toastrack - is a serving piece having vertical partitions (usually from five to eight in number) connected to a flat base, used for holding slices of toast. It often has a central ring handle for passing round the table.

By maintaining air gaps between the slices, the toast rack allows steam to escape from hot toast instead of condensing into adjacent slices and making them soggy. However, this increased air flow can also mean that the toast becomes cold more quickly.


The earliest known examples of toast racks date from the 1770's. They have been made in large quantities since then and are still being made today.


The toast rack's design and shape follows prevailing fashion. The dividers were often made from silver wires and these in-turn were soldered to either a wire-work or solid base that sat on four feet. Sometimes the base is separate and was used to dispose of any crumbs that fell. Some ingenious designs were made including expanding or folding types (so as to take up less space). Others had incorporated egg-cups or receptacles for jam or marmalade.

A designer renowned for his innovative take on the toast rack was Christopher Dresser (1834 - 1904), who studied at the Government School of Design in Glasgow from the age of 13 and is widely thought of as the 'father of modern design'.

Modern designs are often made from stamped and folded stainless steel sheet or from welded stainless wire.

Manchester Metropolitan University's Fallowfield Campus main building is often referred to as "The Toast Rack", due to its resemblance to the said device. An affluent block of streets in South West London (SW18) is referred to as "The Toast Rack" by many estate agents, based on what it looks like

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