Most of us take our army of kitchen appliances for granted, as they assist in making our lives easier in various aspects such as cooking, cleaning and storing food. In the last 100 years, however, many of these everyday appliances have undergone a massive transformation, from their initial idea inception to the changing perceptions from luxury status to being a necessity.


The first gas stoves were invented in the early 1850s, and electric cookers came onto the scene a little later in 1912. Cookers have come a long way in the last 100 years, and the range of styles and sizes has grown enormously. Many people now use a combination of gas and electricity when cooking, with fan-assisted ovens and induction hobs also increasing in popularity. Technology such as catalytic liners and pyrolytic oven programmes reduce cleaning requirements, with Aga and Range ovens proving popular choices in recent years.


One of the biggest kitchen appliance inventions of the last 100 years to revolutionise the way we heat food is the microwave. The first patent for a microwave oven was received in 1940, and a few years later a prototype microwave was produced, but it weighed almost 800 pounds and was over six feet tall! It was 1967, however, when the first microwave products were available for use in the kitchen in a compact size, and their popularity has grown ever since. According to the Office for National Statistics around 92% of UK households owned a microwave in 2010 alone.


Although people have been storing food items to keep them cool for hundreds of years, the first fridge freezer was invented in 1913. At first considered a luxury household item, no homeowner today would be able to function without one. Fridge freezers have changed massively over the years, becoming bigger and better at storing and freezing items. Today, advances in technology mean that these appliances can self-defrost, quick freeze items, keep bacteria at bay and even use smart technology to communicate with us. Available in a wide range of sizes and styles, fridge freezers are used in homes and support the needs of many businesses, with such products available at for example.


The first patent for a dishwasher style of product was received back in 1850, but it wasn’t until 1893 when the concept gained a higher profile amongst the public, when Josephine Cochran publicised her idea of a machine that washed dishes at the Chicago World’s Fair. It was, however, not until the 1920s that dishwashers with permanent plumbing were introduced, and the drying feature was patented in the 1940s. Although dishwashers are common in many households today, in some countries they are still considered more of a luxury than a necessity. According to researcher, Mintel published in Business Week   just four in 10 adults own a dishwasher in the UK, compared to 78% of people in the USA and 77% in Germany.

No doubt the next 100 years will bring further changes in the design and technology of the many household appliances that we use daily, helping to make our lives even easier.