Technological advances

Technological advances during industrialization have brought about major changes in the kitchen. Iron stoves appeared, which completely enclosed the fire and were more efficient. Early models included the Franklin stove around 1740, which was an oven stove intended for heating, not cooking. Benjamin Thompson in England designed his “Rumford stove” around 1800.

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This stove was much more energy efficient than previous stoves; He used a fire to heat various pots, which were hung in holes in the top of the stove and then heated on all sides rather than just the bottom. However, his stove was designed for large kitchens; it was too big for domestic use. The “Oberlin stove” was a refinement of the technique that resulted in a reduction in size; It was patented in the United States in 1834 and became a commercial success with approximately 90,000 units sold over the next 30 years. These stoves were still powered by firewood or charcoal. Although the first gas street lamps were installed in Paris, London, and Berlin in the early 1820s and the first American patent on a gas stove was granted in 1825, it was not until the late 19th century that gas was used for Lighting and cooking became commonplace in urban areas. Before and after the turn of the century, kitchens often lacked built-in cabinets and the lack of storage space in the kitchen became a real problem. Hoosier Manufacturing Co. of Indiana adapted an existing piece of furniture, the Baker’s Cabinet, which had a table-like structure with some cabinets on top (and often flour containers underneath) to solve the storage problem. By rearranging the pieces and taking advantage of (then) modern metallurgy, they were able to produce a well-organized and compact piece of furniture that met the storage and workspace needs of the home cook. A distinctive feature of Hoosier furniture is its accessories. As originally supplied, they came with various shelves and other accessories for storing and organizing spices and various staples. One useful feature was the flour container / sieve combination, a tin hopper that could be used without having to remove it from the cabinet. A similar sugar container was also common.

The urbanization of the second half of the 19th century brought with it other important changes that would eventually change the kitchen. Out of sheer necessity, cities began planning and building household water distribution pipes and built sewers to manage wastewater. The gas pipes have been laid; Gas was first used for lighting, but once the grate grew large enough, it was also available for heating and cooking on gas stoves. By the early 20th century, electricity had been mastered well enough to become a commercially viable alternative to gas, and it slowly began to replace the latter. But like the gas stove, the electric stove had a slow start. The first electric stove was unveiled in 1893 at the Colombia World’s Fair in Chicago, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the technology was stable enough and began to take off.

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