Appliances; they are a staple of most American households. In fact, over 99% of American households have at least one major appliance (the most common is the refrigerator) and 85% have multiple major appliances. We use appliances every day without giving them much thought and we only realize their significance and importance when tragedy strikes. The truth is we have become heavily reliant on technology to make our life increasingly easier.
It’s hard to believe the very first household refrigerator was produced in 1911 by General Motors; that means in-home refrigeration is only 108 years old! How did we manage before then? Another interesting point: automatic washers were developed in 1937, making their in-home use only 82 years old. Could you imagine having to wash your clothes on a rigid board with a rock??
Okay, all seriousness aside, how about some more interesting facts concerning the major appliances of our lives?? Let’s get to it!
- So today your average refrigerator weighs around 250 lbs. At the end of the 19th century a fridge could weigh as much as 5 tons; that’s 10,000 lbs! These were too big to be installed in homes obviously, and were commercial use only.
- The very first self-contained refrigerator wasn’t invented until 1925, by Kelvinator. The unit was actually installed in two parts, the machinery and motor installed in the basement which connected to an icebox upstairs. The tubing that carried the refrigerant ran through the floors of the home!
- Your refrigerator actually works more efficiently if it has more items in it. The cool items help regulate the temperatures in your refrigerator so the compressor and motor don’t have to run as often. Good advice since a refrigerator can contribute to 10% of the total electricity used in your home.
- Whirlpool Home Appliances have actually designated November 15th as National “Clean Out Your Refrigerator” Day. What was propositioned as a promotional tool is now a great reminder to clean all parts of your refrigerator, inside and out. Dust bunnies can actually shorten the life span of your refrigerator.
- In Pennsylvania it’s actually illegal to sleep outside on a refrigerator. Why you would use a refrigerator as a bed, I’m not sure, but it’s illegal in Penn State. So don’t do it.
- Cold air actually reduces the tackiness of certain glues and adhesives. If you forgot to add something to an envelope, simply stick it in the refrigerator a while. The chilled air with cool the glue on the envelope and allow it to open again.
- The history of the washer is just as complicated. Washers have been around since 1782, though they were all hand operated. It wasn’t until 1908 that the first electric washer was created, and oddly enough, it was dubbed Thor. Now you can think of the God of Thunder each time you do your laundry!
- Even though we blame the dryer, it is actually the wash cycle that is responsible for your missing socks. In fact, scientists have developed a formula known as the Sock Loss Index to solve the mystery of the disappearing socks. There’s no concrete answer as of yet. You can visit The Lost Socks Calculator to figure out how many socks you lose on average.
- Did you know there are NO washing machines in space? And by that, I mean on the space shuttle or space station. Dirty laundry (think of all the underwear) is incinerated and shuttled off into space after about a week of wear. Now there’s an odor you can’t un-smell.
- Until recently, dryers were considered a luxury appliance to own. If you would have bought a dryer in the 1950s, it would of cost about $1600 when compared to today’s money terms.
- Laundry detergent was actually invented because of a shortage of soap during World War I. “Dreft” hit the market in 1933 as the first synthetic detergent.
- An average dryer has a load capacity of 11 lbs.
- The original purpose of a stove wasn’t to cook food. Its actual function was to heat a cold room. Later on indoor clothes lines were hung around a stove so that the heat would help dry the clothes. It wasn’t until 1790 that the stove’s function was actually to heat and cook food.
- Ovens heat very efficiently. In fact a toaster uses half the energy as your full sized oven.
- Original stoves were heated with wood and coal. Gas stoves weren’t available until 1841, and it wasn’t until 1892 that the electric stove made it’s debut.
- That little drawer below your stove or oven? It’s actually called a warming drawer and it was designed to store food in to keep it at warmer temperatures until it was served. The drawer cannot physically heat food on it’s own though, only keep items placed in it warm.
- Wall ovens are not actually built into a wall. They are actually fitted into a cabinet space and hung with special brackets.
- The microwave was invented by accident. Percy Spencer was working on new radar technology when a chocolate bar he had in his pocket melted from the microwaves the radar was producing. He dubbed it the RadaRange.
- It wasn’t until 1955 though that Tappan introduced the first microwave for in-home production.
- The first food to be deliberately cooked in a microwave was popcorn.
I hope you enjoyed learning about your appliances. Remember, if you have any issues or questions about your appliance, please call us at 704-588-1900 to schedule a service appointment. You can also visit OUR ONLINE SCHEDULER to schedule your service online.