6 Gadgets That Have A Much Longer History Than Meets The Eye
The modern world is impossible to imagine without a huge number of gadgets designed to make our everyday life more comfortable and easier. At the same time, many of us, imagining the past, see it without any devices at all. But in fact, most of the most common units from our apartments and houses existed a hundred years ago and even more. Your attention is to the “six” gadgets, the history of which is much longer than it seems at first glance.
1. Gas stove
Few people know, however, this integral gadget of any modern kitchen (the only exception is one that is equipped with electric stoves) first worked in the time of Pushkin and Lermontov – back in 1825. The inventor of the gas stove was the English engineer James Sharp, who, not surprisingly, worked in a gas factory. Accordingly, he installs the first such gadget in his own house. However, the invention managed to quickly attract public attention: according to Novate.ru, just ten years later, in 1836, the first factory for the production of gas stoves was built in England.
Interest in the first gas stoves is even their design because they can be compared with real works of art: gadgets were decorated with beautiful cast iron, and with rather bulky dimensions, their appearance was quite elegant. In fairness, it should be clarified that only by the beginning of the 20th century did gas stoves begin to appear in the homes of Europeans with an average income, since they were very expensive, and the pace of gasification left much to be desired. This item of household appliances remained more of a luxury item for a long time, and in the pre-war years in the countries of the world, more than half of the stoves remained coal-fired.
Interesting fact: By the way, electric stoves, which, although they appeared much later than gas ones, and even more so coal ones, also have a rather long history. The first gadget of this type was invented by the engineers of the German company AEG in 1908.
2. Electric iron
The history of the appearance of the electric iron is interesting in that it had to replace its gas counterpart, especially since this year, on June 6, it celebrated its 140th anniversary. As in the case of stoves, gas irons were the first attempts to technologically improve this gadget in cast iron and with coals inside. They had a rather complex design and ironed well, but they were very dangerous: there was a lot of evidence that gas leaked from them, which led to explosions and fires. Such threatening statistics became the reason for the search for a new option for an iron power supply.
At first, already in the first years of the 20th century, they tried to replace gas irons with safer alcohol modifications. That’s fair the taken toll of such a contraption was comparable to the fetched of a car. And in the end, this option turned out to be a kind of technological atavism, but it did not receive distribution and development. It was then that they remembered how in 1882 Henry Seeley from New York designed the first electric iron, which at first also did not differ in maximum safety and often shocked its owners. However, nothing prevented him from modernizing in the era of electrification at that time and eventually becoming a widely used gadget.
3. Vacuum cleaner
The vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 by Briton Huber Cecil Booth. This gadget acquired the funny nickname “Puffing Willie” and looked little like its modern descendants: it was a large covered wagon that was pulled by a pair of horses and stuffed with metal cylinders, gears, and a huge flywheel. This unit, by definition, could not even fit into a spacious house, not exactly an apartment, so it was left on the street, and multi-meter hoses were pulled from the van to the room to be cleaned, especially since this monstrous mechanism worked from gasoline.
It is interesting: Despite the fact that this miracle of technological progress was very popular among the inhabitants of London, at some point the police were forced to ban its use on the street. And all because the horses, which were then still used to move public transport, were very frightened not only by the roar but even by the appearance of “Puffing Willie”.
A handful of a long time afterward, in 1905, there was a genuine breakthrough within the history of vacuum cleaner modernization. American engineers not only managed to create a “room” model of the gadget, but also powered not by gasoline, but by electricity. She weighed, however, as much as 50 kilograms, but in comparison with the first street van, this was a big step forward. Three years later, a modification of the vacuum cleaner was invented, the mass of which was two and a half times less – about 20 kilograms. But the main thing is that the progress of this gadget has already gained momentum, and for more than a hundred years of history, it has densely settled in most houses and apartments on the planet.
4. Washing machine
The history of the invention of the washing machine is remarkable in that researchers still do not know who was the author of this gadget. So, for a long time, it was believed that Alva Fisher was the inventor of this gadget, but this is not entirely true. The fact is that Fisher received a patent for his unit under the number 966677, but the patent for the very first electric washing machine is numbered 921195. History has not protected the title of the innovator of the primary typewriter at all.
However, it is known that it was a wooden drum that rotated in both directions and could be powered by both a gasoline internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Interestingly, the first washer also had a clutch lever. However, the beginning of the journey for laundry gadgets was laid, and from the very beginning it was very successful: according to the editors of Novate.ru, after the appearance of an electric washing machine in the United States in 1908, it became the impetus for the gradual abolition of the laundress profession, because there, in the period from 1910 by 1920, the number of domestic servants had decreased by approximately 400,000. And the first fully automatic washing machine was created in 1949 in the same place, in the USA, and it was programmed through the use of punched cards.
The history of the refrigerator officially dates back to 1858, when the French scientist Ferdinand Carré developed a technology for producing artificial ice from ammonia, which allowed him to create a refrigeration machine. That’s just with all the promise of such a gadget, he was in oblivion for several decades. But the next page in the chronicle of the refrigerator was opened in the Russian Empire, at the beginning of the 20th century, when one Moscow company began manufacturing devices for creating artificial ice, which was called “Eskimo”. Such machines could work from a variety of sources: firewood, coal, kerosene, and even alcohol.
But the first household electric refrigerator appeared a little later, in 1913. Its design was distinguished by the use of rather toxic substances – apparently, therefore, such a refrigerator did not gain popularity among the population. And only in 1926, did the Danish engineer Christian Steenstrup manage to design a silent, relatively harmless, and at the same time durable refrigerator, which was intended specifically for private use in a house or apartment. A year later, after acquiring the corresponding patent, General Electric launched mass production of the Monitor-Top refrigerator model, which became a new milestone in the development of modern-type gadgets.
It seems to the layman that microwave ovens appeared only thirty or forty years ago, but in fact, it is already almost twice as old. The genuine history of the microwave stove really started right after the conclusion of World War II. Then the company Raytheon, which in previous years was engaged in the production of military equipment for the American army, found itself without orders and was on the verge of financial collapse. The way out of a difficult situation was suddenly found by engineer Percy Spencer, who had previously designed a microwave emitter, originally intended for air defense radars, and managed to modify it for peaceful needs.
Documentary confirmation of the invention of the microwave occurred on October 8, 1945, when Spencer registered a patent for an apparatus for cooking food through the use of electromagnetic waves. By 1947, the design of the gadget was improved, and Raytheon launched the release of the first microwave oven on the planet called Radarange. The first gadgets of this type were rather bulky and looked more like a massive closet, and the main users at that time were military units – they were used to defrost food in soldiers’ canteens. And the first household modification of the microwave oven for the home, which was already more compact, was presented in 1955.
Interesting fact: in the Soviet Union, microwave ovens were treated strictly negatively. Moreover, at some point they were banned altogether – according to the official version, Soviet scientists revealed their harmful effects on health due to the formation of carcinogenic substances in products during their use. However, today it is believed that in this way they simply tried to hide the impossibility of recreating this technology in the USSR. Dua for studying. At your doorstep.