3 Amazing Appliance Innovations That Have Changed Our Lives

Appliance Innovations
3 Amazing Appliance Innovations That Have Changed Our Lives

When you look at your daily routine, it’s undeniable: whether you’re in Glasgow, Moscow, Hong Kong, or Des Moines, you rely heavily on the modern marvel of appliances. We have countless pioneers to thank for putting themselves at great personal risk in order to achieve advancements in our daily lives.

It’s interesting to note that the innovations that best define our modern way of life often deal with one recurring problem of the human condition: temperature. Even storybook characters like Goldilocks know what a bummer it is to live with things that are too hot or too cold. Here is a quick history of a few innovations that have changed how we live our lives simply by helping us get some things “just right”.

  1. THE MICROWAVE (A.K.A. ‘Prometheus II: The Quest For Instant Rice’)

    Although man-made microwave radio signals had been demonstrated as early as 1888, it wasn’t until World War II that radar technology really got the push it needed to find its way into a man’s heart (you know, through his stomach, as they say).

    In 1945, a radar engineer named Percy Spencer had a chocolate bar in his pocket that melted while he was working on a particular transmission. He suspected the microwaves from the machine were the cause of the meltdown of his beloved Mr. Goodbar, so more tests on food followed. Less than two years later, the Speedy Weeny vending machine dispensed microwaved hot dogs to commuters in Grand Central Station. This was the first microwaved food available to the public.

    It took a couple more decades to catch on before suburban America was ready for the first popularized household microwave, the Radarange, in 1967. It cost those early adopters the equivalent of about $3,500 in today’s cash.


    The farther you look back in time, the more hanging out at home starts to resemble a camping trip. You would be getting more mosquito bites, watching less T.V., and chilling your food in (let me be Captain Literal here) an actual ice box.

    Yes, before you could open your fridge, pass up a bottle of purple stuff, and head straight for the tangy goodness of Sunny D, there were no refrigerators. Freezers? Forget about it. There was only a cold and rugged industry called the ice trade. Blocks of ice were cut from frozen lakes, ponds, and rivers during the winter months and shipped by train or barge, stored in insulated ice houses, and then smaller pieces were distributed from there. Just like the milkman, there was an iceman.

    At some point during this era, it was discovered that the systematic compression and expansion of certain gases in a coil was an efficient way to freeze things. This self contained idea was finally introduced to households in 1929 by Frigidaire via its chest type freezer unit.


    It’s no wonder that the same year Frigidaire introduced the first household freezer, it also released the first air conditioner of its kind. In ancient Egypt, wet reeds were placed in windows and the air in a room was cooled as a breeze caused the water to evaporate. This concept remained unchanged for thousands of years, all the way up to the swamp cooler. The irony is, humid weather renders them useless: swamp coolers don’t work in the swamp. (I know, I was shocked, too.) You’ll need the compressor/condenser type in that case. Enter Frigidaire! What would we do without air conditioning in warmer states like Florida?

    Even before Miles Davis, people have been able to keep it cool. At first, some of the refrigeration gases could make your eyes melt, but eventually we worked things out. Now the ozone layer isn’t even afraid of us (or at least it knows we’re working on that, too). Thank goodness we have also figured out how to heat a room up when the occasion calls for it, too!

Without these small innovations, we would not be living in a world where a room’s temperature can be perfected; and where porridge can be frozen solid, heated up to molten lava temperatures, and then cooled to be “just right” all in one convenient location. All of these luxuries may seem like simple conveniences, but are very impactful on our lives.

3 Amazing Appliance Innovations That Have Changed Our Lives by

Posted by Matt Hansen


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