Household Amenities and Appliances: Timeline of Their Arrival

Technology sure has come a long way! Though some may be opposed to it, one cannot deny the many benefits of technology in the society. In healthcare, technology makes it possible to cure diseases that in the past have not been curable. Communication is also easier even when loved ones are far away through the use of the internet or mobile phones. Most of all, our day-to-day life has become more convenient through the use of appliances. Life in the modern world will sure be hard if there were no appliances like light, refrigerators, iron and fans.

Speaking of lack of appliances, people back in the days began to invent appliances because of the need to make work easier. If you take a look at the invention of the electric hair dryer, Alexandre F. Godefroy created this for the use of his own salon. Then, as time passes by, people also feel the need to improve the technology to make it better. Until the citizens are not satisfied with the outcome, inventors will still keep on updating new technology.

Before checking out new technology, one should understand the history of the different household amenities and appliances:

1700 – 1000 BC: Indoor Plumbing in the Island of Crete

Evidence of the first flush toilet was found by archaeologists in the Island of Crete as the explored the plumbing system in the area. It showed how back then there was already concern about the hygiene of the citizens.

1117: Processed Foods in China

Preserving wines in China was already done through the process of heating it. This kind of process was also used in Louis Pasteur with his pasteurization.

1752: Electricity by Benjamin Franklin

The famous kite experiment of Franklin made it possible to identify lighting as a form of electrical discharge. This is where the proposition of positive and negative charge were identified which made it possible for further generations to develop electricity further more.

1782: Washing Machine by Henry Sidgier

The first washing machine was very simple. Its physical feature is a cage that has wooden rods and a handle for turning which made it more convenient when washing many clothes.

 1799: Dryer by Pochon

The very first dryer was invented by a Frenchman named Pochon. The device was known as the ventilator. It is made up of a rotating metal drum with holes bored into it. Wet clothes were placed inside this drum. Then, the drum was positioned over an open fire so that it will be cranked by hand. This was a good alternative for drying clothes faster back in the early days especially if there is no heat of the sun to dry the clothes naturally.

1801: Electrical Lamps by Sir Humphrey Davy

The first electric carbon arc lamp was made by Sir Davy in England. The lamp worked through a source of electricity via two carbon rods that were hooked in it. This made it possible for electrical current to flow through the arc by vaporizing carbon and thus creating an intense white light.

1809: Canned Food by Nicolas Appert

As a chef, Appert loved to experiment with ways to preserve and can food. In 1809, he invented a vacuum bottling technique that would help supply food for the French troops.

1826: Gas Stoves by James Sharp

Though there were early attempts in using gas stoves through experiments in the early 1800s, the first gas stove was patented by James Sharp. It has paved the way for more improvements on newer gas stove models.

 1857: Interior Lighting by Alexandre Becquerel

Becquerel was a French physicist who theorized about building fluorescent tubes while investigating the phenomena of fluorescence and phosphorescence. Through his experiments, fluorescent light was made further and this invention was further improved by future generations after him.

1867: Electrical Tools by C. & E. Fein GmbH

The first ever power tool to be invented by this German company is the electric hand drill.

1869: Waffle Iron by Cornelius Swarthout

The first U.S. waffle iron was patented by Swarthout in 1869. The particular feature of the iron is that it sat atop wood or gas stoves. A hinge made it possible to swivel the cast iron collar that was joined by the cast iron plates.

1872: Electric Toaster by Maddy Kennedy

The very first bread electric toaster was created in 1872. Unfortunately, it was only marketed in United Kingdom in the year 1893 by Cromwell and Co. The design had exposed iron heating coils and the users had to flip the bread by themselves to make both sides of the bread brown. However, the electric toaster was still more convenient than heating bread by the fire and it was also easier to clean.

1876: Electric Refrigerator by Carl Von Linde

Linde was a German scientist that invented the very first electric refrigerator through studying earlier cooling devices. He was able to perfect the process of converting large amounts of liquids into gas to keep a defined environment cool.

1879: Light Bulb by Thomas Edison

One of the most popular inventors of all time was Thomas Edison. He made it possible for people to see a brighter world through his invention of light bulb. His light bulb model was so remarkable as it lasted for about 1200 hours.

1882: Electric Iron by Henry W. Seely

Originally dubbed as electric flatiron, Seely’s first version of the electric iron patented on June 6, 1882 featured a direct contact to an electrical source with detachable wires. It used a carbon arc to generate heat thus making ironing easier to use and more convenient as it weighed much less than traditional irons.

1886: Fans by Schuyler Wheeler

At the young age of 22, Wheeler was able to invent the two-bladed electrical fan. Being an engineer, he managed to create a desktop fan which consisted of two blades that were not shielded by any sort of protective cage. This device that was powered by an electric motor helped citizens cool down especially in the summer.

1890: Electric Hair Dryers by Alexandre F. Godefroy

Taking inspiration from the vacuum cleaner, Godefroy decided to also make his own hairdryer for the use of his salon. Unlike the modern hair dryers nowadays, his device was not portable as it can only be used by having the woman sit underneath the hair dryer.

1895: Electrical Radios by Guglielmo Marconi

Marconi’s experiment from the family’s estate led him to discover how to transmit wireless signals over a one and a half mile distance. He was also successful in sending telegraphic signals using electromagnetic airwaves which paved the way for other inventors to explore radio.

1901: Electric Vacuum Cleaner by Hubert Cecil Booth

The “Puffin’ Billy” was a nickname that Booth gave to his first vacuum cleaner which was introduced in February 18, 1901. It was made of piston pump which did not have any brushes. Instead, there were long tubes with nozzles attached on the ends to clean the area through suctioning. Though the machine was large and had to be mounted in a horse-drawn van, it was still very useful in collecting dust and dirt.

1902: Air Conditioner by Willis Haviland Carrier

The breakthrough in air conditioning started when the Brooklyn printing plant where Carrier worked experienced fluctuations in heat and humidity which caused the dimensions of the papers to alter slightly. Though Carrier was new, he managed to create a device that would condition the temperature and humidity of the printing plant which resulted in a stable environment.

1912: Electric Stoves by Lloyd Groff Copeman

Since 1906, Copeman had been developing a design for an electric version of gas stoves that was already marketed in the USA and Britain for around twenty years. In 1912, the Copeman Electric Stove aka the fireless cooker was finally built to help cook food faster and safer.

1912: Heating Pads by S.I. Russell

The heating pads were invented to help tuberculosis patients to keep warm since they had to sleep outdoors. Also, it is used to heal the pain during treatment.

1920: Marshmallow Toaster by Angelus Co.

This appliance made parties fun by allowing one to toast marshmallows indoors even without campfire!

1946: Microwave by Dr. Percy Spencer

The creation of the first microwave was accidental. During a radar-research related project, Dr. Spencer discovered that the candy bar that was inside his pocket melted when he was testing a new vacuum tube called a magnetron. Because of this, he began to experiment on this and later on realized the power of microwave energy. This research of him led to revolutionize cooking and heating through microwave ovens.