We’ve come to take many standard household appliances for granted, but each one was thought of as a marvel and an ingenious innovation when it was first invented. Here’s a timeline of the invention of all the now common appliances that can be found in anyone’s dream kitchen.

Victorian cleaning servicePerhaps one of the oldest still-used appliances is the vacuum cleaner. That said, the first iteration of this common household helper would have been somewhat unrecognizable to the common man; British civil engineer H. Cecil Booth patented his first attempt at the vacuum cleaner in 1901, when it was engine-powered and meant to be mounted on a horse-drawn cart. The vacuum required teams of operators, who would reel the horses into buildings that needed to be cleaned up. A more practical vacuum engineered for domestic use wasn’t thought up until 1907, when a janitor in Ohio named James Spangler invented an “electric suction-sweeper” and ultimately sold the rights to his idea to William Hoover.

Two years after Hoover held the patent on vacuums, Frank Shailor of General Electric filed a patent application for the first ever commercially successful electric toaster. While the 1909 starting model was a bit of a death trap (it included a single heating element and no exterior casing, controls, working parts or sensors and necessitated that a piece of toast be turned by hand), it paved the way for the toasters of the future. By 1919, toasters could pop up their finished products just the way we like it.

1913 was an exciting year for home appliances; those were the years that both the electric refrigerator and the electric dishwasher were invented. With the invention of the dishwasher was simply a matter of convenience, refrigerators truly did made an enormous impact on the population’s ability to store food for longer and therefore lengthen their access to safe food. The fridge of 1913 consisted of a small unit that had to be mounted on top of a home’s icebox and therefore needed to be connected to external plumbing in order to function. In 1925, standalone refrigerators for the home that didn’t require plumbing connections became more common choices.

1927 was the year of the garbage disposal. An architect from Wisconsin by the name of John W. Hammes developed the invention in his basement in an effort to make kitchen cleanup work easier for his wide. The appliance was eventually sold by Emerson Electric Company under the nickname the “electric pig.”

washing machineThe first washing machine that could wash, rinse and extract water from clothes wasn’t invented until the 1930’s, when John W. Chamberlain of the Bendix Corporation invented the device. J. Ross Moore built the first oil-heated clothes dryer five years later in an effort to spare his mother from having to hang wet laundry out in the brutal North Dakota winter.

In 1952, the first automatic coffee pot was invented by Russell Hobbs. Much like the automatic coffee makers of today, its percolator regulated the strength of the coffee according to taste and a light flashed when the coffee was ready.

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