Sony's First 'Failure': The 1945 Electric Rice Cooker

In 1945, after Japan had conceded defeat in World War II, Sony founder Masaru Ibuka invented a product to try and serve the millions of homes who had electricity but lacked the appliances to use it. The result was this electric rice cooker.

Released under the business name Tokyo Telecommunications Research Institute, before Sony itself became an incorporated company, the rice cooker was little more than some aluminium electrodes on the bottom of a wooden bucket. Depending on the unregulated electric current at the time, the kind of rice or how much water was used, the rice generally ended up served as overcooked mush or undercooked grain.

Because of this, the product was never actually released onto the market. Instead, a prototype now sits ensconced in glass at the Sony Archives in Shinagawa, a relic from a distant age before electronic gadgets were the norm.

Nick travelled to Tokyo courtesy of Sony, who saw fit to invite him to the Sony Archives, a museum dedicated to Sony's history.



    They should actually make rice cookers that look like that instead of all the plastic ones you get.

      I'd buy one, even an unpredictable one.

      Can't be any worse than the Sunbeam POS I have right now.

    it still gets better reception than the iPhone 4.. look at the antenna in the base!

    I would also like to travel to Tokyo coutesy of Sony! :)

    An excellent winter hat.

    Seems a bit ironic, a huge company started with a piece of useless junk.

    LOL i totally agree a International companie founded by a usless peice of junk that did'nt even make it on to the market P.S
    i also think if it did make it on the marketand was a success it would have changed sony's future into a cooking appliance company instead of a company that founded the plastation and E.C.T

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