With so much technology around us, it can be really easy to take for granted the many different appliances that we use around the home to make our lives easier. However, each and every one of them had to find their origins somewhere, so in this article we will be providing very brief overviews of some of the most common household appliances and where they actually came from.
The Electric Kettle
Capable of boiling water quickly, the kettle is used by tea and coffee lovers everywhere, in addition to those who quickly want to boil some water for use in cooking. Though metal kettles, which could be heated over a flame or hob, have been around for centuries, it is believed that the very first electric kettle was made by a British company called Compton and Co., way back in 1891.
However, it, like many that came after it, was very inefficient and thus they weren’t widely adopted. That is until 1922, when the Swan Company released the first kettle to include a built-in heating element, which sped up the water heating process massively and finally made the electric kettle a viable household appliance.
Most of the people reading this will likely not even be able to recall a time when the television was not a part of daily life. For many, life revolves around the TV, which plays host to our favourite shows, movies and videogames.
While numerous names are often put forth as the true inventor of the television, including Vladimir Kosma Zworykin and Philo Taylor Farnsworth, John Logie Baird is usually credited with the invention because he was the first to demonstrate a working television in 1926, in addition to being the first to demonstrate a working colour television some years later. However, the concept of the television has existed before these demonstrations a number of other inventors has created similar devices, meaning there is still come controversy over the origins of the device.
The Electric Iron
Before the invention of the electric iron, people had to use metal ones that were heated, often in a furnace, before they could be used.
However, the introduction of electricity meant that a whole range of devices could now be powered, resulting in the creation of the first electric flatiron. United States inventor Henry W. Seeley patented his device in 1882. However, it was huge, weighing in at approximately 15 pounds, and is believed to take an enormous amount of time and electricity to heat.
Over time, the technology was refined further, with the first irons featuring temperature controls being released in the 1920s. Irons came close to what we know them to be today in 1926, when Thomas Sears invented the first steam iron. However, it was in 1934 that Chicago-native Max Skolnik invented the first steam iron that featured a dampener, paving the way for the device to find its way into homes all over the world. This version of the iron was produced en-masse by the Steam-O-Matic Corporation of New York, with the device increasing in popularity throughout the 1940s and 50s.