A BRIEF HISTORY OF ELECTRIC APPLIANCES

By Tim Lambert

Who Invented Electricity? No single person invented electricity. Many people made discoveries and inventions. However in 1819 a Dane, Hans Christian Oersted discovered that electric current in a wire caused a nearby compass needle to move. The Englishman Michael Faraday (1791-1867) showed that a magnet can produce electricity. In 1831 Faraday invented the dynamo. Eventually in the late 19th century men invented all kinds of electric appliances.

Electric Battery

Volta invented the electric battery in 1800

Electric Blanket

The first practical electric blanket was invented in 1912 by Sidney I. Russell.

Electric Car Heater

The electric car heater was invented in 1890 by Thomas Ahearn.

Electric Chair

The first person to die in the electric chair was William Kemmler who was executed on 6 August 1890 at Auburn prison New York.

Electric Dishwasher

The first electric dishwasher was invented by the Walker brothers in 1913.

Electric Fan

The electric fan was invented in 1882 by Dr Schuyler Wheeler.

Electric Fire

The first practical electric fire was made in 1912.

Electric Iron

The first electric iron was invented in 1882 by Henry Seeley.

Electric Kettle

The first electric kettle was made in 1891.

Electric Light

The electric light bulb was invented by Joseph Swan in 1878.

Electric Motor

As early as 1837 Thomas Davenport made an electric motor. However electricity was seldom used in industry until the end of the 19th century.

Electric Organ

Morse Robb invented the electric organ in 1928.

Electric Oven

The first electric oven went on sale in the USA in 1891. They went on sale in Britain in 1893. By 1939 there were about 1 1/2 million electric ovens in Britain and about 9 million gas ones.

Electric Razor

The first successful electric razor was invented in 1928 by Jacob Schick.

Electric Sewing Machine

The first electric sewing machine was sold in 1889.

Electric Toaster

The first electric toaster was invented in Britain in 1893 by Crompton and Co.

Electric Toothbrush

The first cordless electric toothbrush was sold in 1961.

Escalator

The escalator was patented in 1892 by Charles Wheeler.

Fridge

A number of men developed the refrigerator during the 19th century. The first domestic refrigerator was made in 1911.

Neon Lights

The first neon lights were made by Georges Claude in 1910.

Radio

Who invented radio is disputed but by 1899 Marconi was sending signals across the Atlantic.

Telegraph

The electric telegraph was invented in 1837 by Sir William Cooke and Sir Charles Wheatstone.

Telephone

The telephone was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell.

Television

Television was invented in 1926 by John Logie Baird. The BBC began broadcasting in 1936.

Vacuum Cleaner

The vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 by Hubert Booth.

Washing Machine

The first electric washing machines were made in 1907.

A history of furniture

A history of toilets

A history of English homes

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