You walk into the kitchen and turn on the light. The electric washing machine hums in the background with your latest load of laundry as you start your breakfast. A cup of coffee in one hand while the other maneuvers a waffle iron. A piece of perfectly browned toast is in the pop-up toaster and there’s an egg on the electric stove. Breakfast is served in minutes without a thought.
However it hasn’t been this way for ever. In fact most household appliances that we use today were invented over many years back when our grandmothers and great-grandmothers were running the house. There wasn’t the convenience of a microwave oven to heat a slice of pizza up or even a garbage disposal.
Let’s play a game. I’m going to say the name of each household appliance we love and depend on, and you’re going to tell me the year it was invented. Let’s begin!
1. The Washing Machine
Some washing machines today have more buttons than a television remote. With various washing cycles, temperatures, and even the ability to wash with steam, modern washing machines have made cleaning almost fun.
Before we had the modern day washing machine people had to ring out their clothes with dangerous powered rollers on top the machine.
Year Invented: Mid 1930s
2. The Microwave Oven
Today we mostly use microwave ovens to reheat leftovers, make breakfast and thaw food, making this household appliance a must in every household. But did you know that the microwave was actually invented by total accident during World War II?
Engineer Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer, who was working with magnetrons had a bar of chocolate in his pocket to eat later as a snack. While working he realized that his chocolate bar had melted from the microwaves. Thus the modern day microwave was born.
Year Invented: 1954
3. The Electric Refrigerator
If there’s one appliance on this list that is in every single house it’s the refrigerator. While refrigeration techniques originally started back in 1750’s with iceboxes, the fridges we use today weren’t invented for home use until almost 200 years later.
Today some refrigerators even host a video screen to show television and a look inside the fridge so you don’t have to open the door to see what’s inside.
Year Invented: 1913
4. The Electric Mixer
Electric mixers have been helping us bake up cookies and cakes for years. Patented by Rufus Eastman, the first electric mixers were actually used for commercial purposes. It wasn’t until the Hobart company invented the KitchenAid that brought electric mixers into the home. And we are thankful for that.
Year Invented: 1910
5. The Garbage Disposal
Invented by Architect John W. Hammes as a machine to make kitchen clean-up easier, the kitchen garbage disposal was first nicknamed the “electric pig”. The garbage disposal works with the centrifugal force of the blades, forcing the food into small pieces tiny enough to be flushed down.
Year Invented: 1927
6. The Electric Kettle
Commonly used to to boil water for tea, the electric kettle was invented to make it as simple as plugging in the machine and adding water to boil water. The first electric kettles were introduced in 1893 but the heating element was detached from the kettle itself. It wasn’t until a few years later that the heating element was incorporated into the kettle itself.
Year Invented: 1922
7. The Electric Dishwasher
Whenever you use a plate, there’s always that pile up of dirty dishes at the end of the meal. Before our modern-day dishwashers all dishes were washed by hand. In the late 1800’s a few dishwasher inventions were created, however it wasn’t until William Howard Livens, a solider in the British Army invented a domestic dishwasher that changed the game.
Year Invented: 1924
8. The Electric Toaster
There’s nothing more satisfying than the crunch of toasted bread topped with butter. While modern-day toasters haven’t changed in years, the original toaster started out by placing a piece of sliced bread in a cage and holding it over a fire.
Thankfully those days are gone. In the early 19th century a man named Charles Strite invented what we now know of as the modern pop-up toaster. Using a timer mechanism that shuts off the heating element and pops the toast up became the common household item we know and love today.
Year Invented: 1919
9. The Vacuum Cleaner
Dirt and grim are no match for today’s vacuum cleaners. Evolved from the carpet sweeper, the electric vacuum cleaner was said to suck up dust and dirt using an electric fan. The invention was a flop and the inventor later sold it to his relative, William Hoover. The rest is history.
Year Invented: 1907
10. The Waffle Iron
Served with maple syrup and butter, waffles are a quintessential breakfast item. Invented back in the 14th century in the Netherlands, the orginal waffle iron was made using iron plates heated over a fire.
Today’s waffle irons are mostly electric, making it easy to cook a waffle in minutes.
Year Invented: 1918
Let us know how many household products you correctly guessed in the comments below.