As you prepare to host your home holiday get-togethers, you may find that a little toddy-for-the-body is needed to satisfy your guests. And if you serve, say, frozen daiquiris, you can give a small salute to a Chrysler employee for making possible that delicious mixture of rum, lemon (or lime) juice, sugar, fruit and crushed ice.

Our story begins in 1936. A man named Frederick J. Osius had produced an undeveloped and seemingly unworkable mixing device for use in the kitchen. Osius had also run out of money to bring the emulsifying machine to the public, although he did secure a patent for the gizmo in 1933.

Hearing that bandleader Fred Waring was a fan of new technology (and always looking to invest in the "next big thing"), Osius talked his way into Waring's dressing room after a radio broadcast and explained the concept of his "miracle mixer." Waring was intrigued and decided to help Osius with ideas, money and marketing.

Here is the rest of the story, quoted from the Fred Waring's America web site:

"Over the next few months, Waring analyzed and studied Osius' prototype. He decided it needed sealed ball bearings for the bottom drive, propeller-like blades, and a cloverleaf-shaped jar to throw the contents back down. A buddy at the Chrysler Corporation secretly helped Fred solve the ball-bearing problem." (Repeated contact with archivists at the Fred Waring's America Special Collection at Penn State University turned up no clues as to the identity of the Chrysler employee.)

The Waring Mixer, as it was first called, was introduced to the world at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago in 1937. It was an instant hit and revolutionized the way we prepare and consume food and beverages.

The impact of the Waring Blendor reached far beyond everyday kitchen use. Years before antibiotics were in common use, Waring was asked to produce a sealed, stainless steel container for scientific laboratories. The special Waring Aseptic Dispersal Blendor was used by Dr. Jonas Salk to prepare culture media used in developing the polio vaccine.

Ultimately, the efforts of a down-on-his-luck inventor, a showbiz icon with deep pockets and an unknown Chrysler employee enriched our lives while making the holidays a bit more festive.

I'll drink to that.