Charles Strite invented the pop-up toaster. -
This is from www.toaster.org (it's not the only toaster website...!)
"During World War I, a master mechanic in a plant in Stillwater, Minnesota decided to do something about the burnt toast served in the company cafeteria. To circumvent the need for continual human attention, Charles Strite incorporated springs and a variable timer, and filed the patent for his pop-up toaster on May 29, 1919. Receiving financial backing from friends, Strite oversaw production of the first one hundred hand-assembled toasters, which were shipped to the Childs restaurant chain. The first pop-up toaster for the home, the Toastmaster, arrived on the scene in 1926. It had a timing adjustment for the desired degree of darkness, and when the toast reached the preselected state, it was ejected, rather forcefully. The device stirred so much public interest that March 1927 was designed National Toaster Month, and the advertisement running in the March 5 issue of the Saturday Evening Post promised: "This amazing new invention makes perfect toast every time! Without turning! Without burning!" "
Check out this monster industrial-sized version with a later model shown for scale, from www.toastercentral.com