Posted by Charles Knight on April 23, 2016
In the 1930’s Maurice H. Graham’s innovations and aspirations allowed him to start his own business bearing his name:
The M. H. Graham Company. The inventions of M. H. Graham revolutionized the very essence of the kitchen equipment industry, and with it he was able to make a lasting impact in the kitchens and lives of families all across North America. Many of his inventions also had a profound effect on direct cookware sales, while also helping to shape the future of the industry. For his contributions, M. H. Graham is considered one of the most influential inventors of kitchen equipment of all time. Some of his most notable inventions and patents are listed below:
M. H. Graham’s greatest invention and contribution is considered to be the Rotary Food Cutter, due to the effects it would have on the cookware industry. In 1949 a company based in Dallas, Texas would take the rotary food cutter, re-branded as Saladmaster, and use it to help build a worldwide sales organization. The M. H. Graham Company would go on to file five patents on the rotary food cutter, beginning in 1939 and filing the last revision in 1980.
The founder Maurice H. Graham would unfortunately pass away in 1955 at the age of 66. His son, Elwood M. Graham, would fill his father’s shoes as CEO of the M. H. Graham Company. Elwood was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Criminal Investigation Division in Europe and Asia. While serving in Asia, Elwood played a role in the occupation of Japan under General Douglas MacArthur. After the war, he would join the F.B.I. becoming a special agent serving under J. Edgar Hoover in Dallas, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Elwood would also work with a non-profit The Mississippi Coast Crime Commission, belonged to the Society of Former Special Agents of the F.B.I., and would serve on the boards of multiple corporations.
After 13 years in charge, Elwood Graham would move the business to Biloxi, Mississippi, and rebrand it as The M. H. Graham Corporation. With the change in name came a pivot in the business model as well. Elwood began to private label all of the companies house ware goods, allowing the company to become a major manufacturer and employing around one hundred and thirty people. From 1930 to 1988, the M. H. Graham Company supplied direct sales cookware companies and restaurant suppliers throughout the world with their house ware products. The new company, Kitchen Innovations, was acquired by Chef Charles Knight of Tampa, Florida in 1992. Knight continues to manufacture the original Three Legged Rotary Food Cutter, made famous through M. H. Graham, and two updated models as well.