ca. 1880s-1900s, [cabinet card, portrait of a bespectacled, possibly blind gentleman with no hands, posed with his young partner and a new invention called the ‘Peerless Steam Cooker.’ ]
According to Kovel’s, “Charles E. Swartzbaugh founded Peerless Cooker Co. in Buffalo, New York, in 1884. He invented both a steam cooker and a ‘fireless cooker.’ By the early 1900s, the company moved to Toledo, Ohio, and was renamed the Toledo Cooker Co.” This is most likely a salesman’s sample of this pristine model. The young man holds a small piece of the equipment…[and] a manual for the steamer in his other hand. On the floor in a black salesman pack is another flyer and a book with a partially title visible which starts with word “Money”; quite possibly a self-help book on sales and success.