The first whisks were made of twigs.
The whisk, which seems so ubiquitous in kitchens today, wasn’t always a readily available tool. Records dating as far back as the 1600s recommend European chefs use bundles of twigs or rods to beat ingredients. In the 1850s, French innovators were developing the wire whisk while America’s Ralph Collier was simultaneously designing the first manual egg beater, the vintage hand-cranked predecessor to today’s hand mixer. Wire whisks of all shapes and sizes were popularized in the United States by Julia Child, who whipped egg whites into fluffy clouds on one of her first stateside television appearances in the 1960s.