Appliances

There comes a point in every homeowner’s life when he or she must ask himself or herself a very important question: do I want a gas stove top or an electric stove top? You’ve heard the debates, you’ve listened to your friends’ experiences with each, and yet you’ve never really been forced into a situation where you have to choose for yourself until the time comes, so you generally don’t get to enter into the situation with a strong opinion, but you know whatever you choose will make a big change.

gasOne thing to keep in mind is that the choice between an electric or gas stove top is much like the choice between a Democratic or Republican candidate in the 2016 election; neither one is really an example of a state-of-the-art product and both have been around for far too long without undergoing any kind of serious improvement.

People may get up in arms about which candidate they should choose, and they may even be upset about the fact that neither seems acceptable, and they’ve got a point. On one side you have a seasoned politician that has as many scandals haunting her as she has items on her political resume. Lying, cheating and rushing into unwise wars are all among her most mediatized abilities. On the other side, you have a man who is as dishonest in his business as he is rashly open about his racial, cultural and gender-related prejudices. Unable to watch his mouth or reveal his tax returns, he is honest and dishonest during all the wrong times.

Given this situation, one would think that people would feel disenfranchised and perhaps disengage from whatever political party with which they used to affiliate. After all, neither is producing a viable political product, and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that neither product is actually really made for the common person. All paper trails seem to lead to competing corporations hiring out politicians to do their legislative dirty work. In fact, politics has almost devolved to the level of professional sports, where players and teams loosely represent a region of people but actually act in their own interests, switching sides and opinions depending on who gives them the tastiest financial incentive.

gas vs electrifDespite the influential financial flows cross party lines and that in our most current election the choices for both parties are fairly abominable, people seem to be more polarized than ever when it comes to their party and the beliefs that people believe those parties represent. Far from unifying under a shared frustration about the current state of our political system, the people of America seem to be blaming the people who make up their rival parties for the current state of affairs, ignoring that the people on the other side have about as much power as they do, which amounts to basically nothing. The country didn’t come to the place it is because of the disenfranchised voters who are all more similar than they are different; it came to this place because of the corporations lobbying politicians, which have immeasurably more power.

In other words, whether you want an electric stove or a gas-powered one, they’re both the same and neither are really a bad idea, so try not to get into any major arguments about the subject.

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.