Although the concept of a kitchen has been around forever, it was not until post-civil-war that the majority of kitchen appliances became a kitchen staple. Being that families no longer had servants doing the heavy lifting kitchen duties, housewives needed an easier more efficient way of performing kitchen related tasks with less human powered help. Also, electricity being more readily available, allowed for the speedy technological advancements that brought labor saving kitchen appliances to the average home.
According to Mary Bellis on, About.com you can see the history of some of our most beloved kitchen appliances
History of Kitchen Appliances
Large Kitchen Appliances
In 1850, Joel Houghton patented a wooden machine with a hand-turned wheel that splashed water on dishes, it was hardly a workable machine, but it was the first patent.
- Garbage Disposer
Architect, inventor John W. Hammes built his wife the world’s first kitchen garbage disposer in 1927. After ten years of design improvement, Hammes went into business selling his appliance to the public. His company was called the In-Sink-Erator Manufacturing Company.
- Ovens or Stoves
The first historical record of a stove being built refers to a stove built in 1490 in Alsace, France.
- Microwave Ovens
The microwave oven was invented by Percy L. Spencer.
Before mechanical refrigeration systems were introduced, people cooled their food with ice and snow, either found locally or brought down from the mountains.
Small Kitchen Appliances
- Apple Parer
On February 14, 1803, the apple parer was patented by Moses Coates.
In 1922, Stephen Poplawski invented the blender.
The cheese-slicer is a Norwegian invention.
- Electric Mixers
The first patent that can claim to be for an electric mixer was issued on November 17, 1885 to Rufus M. Eastman. Lillian Moller Gilbreth (1878-1972), the mother of 12 children, also patented an electric food mixer (at a later date)
The nineteenth-century created numerous kitchen use inventions: toasters, potato mashers, apple/potato peelers, food choppers and sausage stuffers were all invented. Over 185 patents for coffee grinders and over 500 patents for apple/potato peelers were patented in the 1800s. Early peelers were made of iron and the patent number and other information was included in the casting. Peelers ranged from the familiar and simple round swiveling rod with a knife blade that peeled skin, to contraptions full of gears and wheels that could peel, core, slice and section. There were separate peelers designed for different fruits and vegetables; there were even peelers that removed the kernels from ears of corn.
- Pressure Cooker
In 1679, French physicist Denis Papin invented the pressure cooker, called Papin’s Digester, this airtight cooker produced a hot steam that cooked food more quickly while preserving nutrients.
- Toaster Toasting bread began as a method of prolonging the life of bread. It was very common activity in Roman times, ‘tostum’ is the latin word for scorching or burning.
- Waffle Iron
The waffle iron was patented on August 24, 1869, invented by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York. The patent (United States #94,xxx) described the invention as a “device to bake waffles.
Could you get along without your small kitchen appliances?
We really take our smart little kitchen gadgets for granted. How much more difficult our lives would be without them? And, it’s not like we think much about them until we really need them. “Who invented some of the small gadgets that clutter our countertops and make our lives so much easier?”
As long as your coffee maker, toaster oven, blender or food processor work, you don’t really give them a second thought do you?? Now, if one of them happens to malfunction, our immediate thought usually turns to “fix it” a.s.a.p. or “replace” a.s.a.p.
I am so personally attached to my countertop coffee maker for example that if I happen to be traveling, it comes with me! And I’m not the only one…I know many other people attached to their espresso machines, microwaves, and juicers.
It’s also funny how just when we think the latest and greatest in small kitchen appliances have been invented, one product leapfrogs over another and the appliance is either stream- lined to a space saving design to maximize counter space, a great new feature is added, or an entirely new gadget is invented that we suddenly didn’t even realize we needed.
If you are just getting started stocking up your kitchen with essentials here’s a list of five of the “must have appliances” for every kitchen.
- Microwave oven: A must have for heating up a meal or defrosting
- Mixer: Makes mixing ingredients for baking much easier
- Coffee Maker: Most of us cannot function without our cup of Joe
- Toaster: Gotta have toast with your morning coffee right?
- Small counter top oven: Awesome for cooking smaller roasts or pizzas
Now, If you already have the basics in appliances like I do, and have a love of all things “appliance”, like myself, you’re going to want to read on to check out some of the greatest small kitchen appliances that will help you in the kitchen create delicious; creative meals that only your imagination can limit. I’m all about beauty, but I think appliances must also be functional and practical. And, if you are like most people, your storage space is limited. It’s not worth spending money on a new kitchen toy that you have to store so high or deep in your cabinets that you either forget it’s there or don’t want to bother to dig it out to use it. I recommend taking an inventory of what you currently have before investing in anything else. These kitchen trinkets tend to become obsolete at lightning speed. Weeding out some of the older, bulkier, less energy efficient models of your small kitchen appliances that may be collecting dust in your lazy suzan, will help you create the space you need for the new awesome kitchen toy you know you “have to have”.
Best small kitchen appliances coming soon!