Evolution of the Modern Kitchen Appliance



The kitchen is usually touted to be the heart of the home, and we couldn’t agree more. This where we cook our daily meals, sit down to eat, try out new recipes or even work on messy science projects. The room in itself has been updated several times over the centuries, with more and more devices coming out to make our lives easier.

Since the kitchen is a somewhat informal room, this is where friends might gather to gossip over a cup of coffee. It’s also a place where you can get a lot of house chores done, thanks to the washing machine and dishwasher under the counters. However, all this would probably not be possible if there hadn’t been great strides in kitchen technology.

From a the wood-oven stove to a slew of modern gadgets like the microwave oven, sleek fireless electric stoves, and several types of blenders, kitchen appliances have definitely gone a long way. Let’s take a look at the evolution of the modern kitchen appliance in order to understand it better:


Gas Stoves

Gas stoves might be a common feature in many countries and even outdated in the United States, but they were quite a revolution when they first became available.

The first gas stove was first introduced during the 1850s. However, it took a while for this appliance to be widely used. Only about 100 American households owned one in the first few years following its release, with most people still preferring to cook over wood or coal.

Eventually, however, the convenience of the gas stove won over and the appliance soon spread to most households in America. It wasn’t just easier to simply turn on the stove instead of kindling a fire each time, but this method also leads to less smoke. The safety feature was yet another reason that made these stoves so popular.

Although the gas stove was first introduced in England in 1851 (by the Windsor company), it was only in the 1880s that they became commercially successful. Some of the earliest models of the gas stove can be seen in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, which was published in 1904.


Larger Electric Appliances: Washing Machines

In 1846, the first washing machine was patented in the US. This simulated the action of the human hand washing on the traditional washboard. The first electric washing machine was introduced in 1900. Now, of course, we have several different kinds of washing machines at hand.

The automatic front-load washing machine is usually installed underneath the kitchen counter, which makes it a kitchen appliance. This machine can wash out clothes at different settings and also dry them after a wash cycle. Needless to say, this is quite a high level of convenience for anyone who’s running a household.

Microwave Ovens

Larger Electric Appliances: Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens are famous for being invented by pure accident. One day in 1945, the American engineer Percy Spencer was working near some magnetrons (which eventually produced the microwave), Spencer noticed that his chocolate bar began to melt in his pocket. This alerted him to the fact that the equipment was producing heat, which might possibly be utilized for heating or even cooking purposes.

A year later, the first commercially microwave came out. However, the earliest versions of this appliance were remarkably taller, heavier and used a lot more power than the modern countertop microwaves of today.

Today, people in several countries usually have a microwave in the kitchen. While some might shun its use due to certain stories about its unhealthy rays, these myths have since been dispelled. In fact, some nutritionists might even say that microwave cooking can actually be healthy as it doesn’t require much oil or butter.


The Monitor-Top Refrigerator

The monitor-top refrigerator has a charming retro look and was introduced by General Electric (GE) in 1927. It was so named because the compressor on top resembled a gun turret, as seen in war tanks during the Civil War. These turrets were usually known as the Monitor, so the name was also applied to the refrigerator.

Nowadays, the compressor for our modern refrigerators is much smaller. They’re hence built right into the body of the appliance itself, so you can’t view it so easily.


The Shelvador

Another charmingly retro refrigerator is the “Shelvador,” which was introduced by Crosley in 1934. The then-new refrigerator’s “shelves on the door’ singlehandedly changed the refrigerator industry, as the Shelvador really maximized the interior of a fridge.

These days, we cannot imagine a refrigerator without shelves on the door. Some models even have a separate cooling system for making sure the door items stay as cool as the ones in the fridge proper.


The Side-by-Side Refrigerator

The Kelvinator Company actually introduced the side-by-side refrigerator, dubbed the “Foodarama,” in 1955. Today, side-by-side refrigerators would usually feature a TV door or an LED control display. This addition allows the owners to monitor their fridge, freezer, water and ice control with ease.

Having this sort of technology is yet another step in what’s known as the ‘Internet of Things’. This is a modern concept that’s focused on making a ‘smart home’ for everyone. This is why our fridge, as well as several other kitchen appliances, is connected to our smartphones. Eventually, researchers and developers of such technology hope to sync all these devices together in order to help us lead the best life possible.


The Simple Oven

Even in this high-tech age where a lot of people tend to own sleek and state-of-the-art kitchen gadgets, some want to return to the old-fashioned ways. This is why some people might have wood-fired ovens in their own backyard. These charming outdoor brick ovens provide a convenient way to cook and entertain guests when having a garden party, without ever having to go in and out of the kitchen.


Cooking Methods in Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks used several common cooking methods, including boiling, simmering, frying, roasting, grilling, and baking. These are similar to the practices we have today, although, of course, their kitchen tools were more rudimentary. The ancient Greeks used pots and even portable ovens made of clay.


The Kitchen Evolution

Part of the evolution of the modern kitchen appliance has to do with the sheer size and importance of the kitchen in general. As far as modern homes are concerned, kitchens are getting larger and more versatile all the time. However, this wasn’t always the case.

The kitchens of the 1910s usually didn’t have much storage space, as cabinets were not yet in production for this particular room. Cooking areas were mostly small, simple, and considered more as workrooms. A typical 1918 rural kitchen in Texas, for instance, might have pots and pans hanging on the walls, with a few open shelves to hold other necessities such as spices, spoons, etc.

Now, modern kitchens usually have wide expanses of gleaming countertops, rows of cabinets both above and below the counters, and several light fixtures as well. It’s hence only understandable that there are now more appliances to fill all that space.


More Kitchen Ideas

Reading about the evolution of all these appliances might have put you in the mood for renovating your kitchen. If this is a plan you want to put into action, the book called “Kitchen Ideas You Can Use” might come in handy. The link here will give you a chance to peek inside this work and place an order:

Kitchen Ideas You Can Use, Updated Edition


This particular work is by Christ Peterson and features several of the latest kitchen styles, convenient appliances, and renovating tips for a modern kitchen. It covers a wide variety of kitchen ideas, including backsplashes, touchless kitchen faucets, sinks, and much more. Using this guide, you can get some valuable tips on creating the kitchen you always wanted.

The best thing about this book is probably that it utilizes DIY remodeling trends, which both look good and save you some money. There are also creative solutions for storage, bold designs, installing large appliances. Anyone who wants to remodel, renovate, or upgrade their kitchen would do well to get their hands on this work.


Reading up on the evolution of modern kitchen appliances is an interesting pursuit. By looking at the earliest versions of the gadgets that we take for granted, we can appreciate the technology we have now. Plus, this would also give us a chance to get back to our roots and perhaps try out an old method for once. Some people would love to go back to the brick oven, while others would adore a retro-style refrigerator for their quirky apartment décor.

However you view the evolution of such appliances, it’s important to know our history in every area. With the kitchen being so important for healthy and clean living, we should be aware of how we have so many conveniences. This study might even help to remodel our own kitchens, so read up on the latest gadgets and see where you might want to make a change!

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