Veg-O-Matic II
ron popeil

The man himself, Ron Popeil. Actor Dan Aykroyd even spoofed him on "Saturday Night Live" in 1976.

Mike Guastella/WireImage/Getty Images

Housed among the more serious items in the Smithsonian's collection are many lighthearted tokens of American history. Take the Veg-O-Matic II, for example, a product of Popeil Brothers Inc. The handy kitchen aid (and similar O-Matic devices) were invented by Samuel J. Popeil, but it was his son Ron who really made them famous. His television marketing campaign with the "But wait! There's more!" sales pitch gained him pop icon status, and the products sold like hotcakes.

The Veg-O-Matic II made its way into the Smithsonian in 1986, when the Popeil family donated one for the collection. The Popeils also sent along a recording of the accompanying commercial. And that's the end of this list ... "But wait! There's more!" Check out the links on the next page.