Can You Identify These 10 Early 1900s Kitchen Appliances?

posted Oct 03, 2017 by Kathy Pinna
Today, it's technology based on the microchip - the newest cell phone, computer, or other devices based on technological advances (does anyone have Dick Tracy's telephone watch?). In the early 20th century, "the next big thing" was electricity. Kitchen appliances, washing machines, radios, clocks . . . anything powered by electricity was welcomed and made our daily chores easier. Do you remember any of these new-fangled gadgets? Do you still have some?


Did you know? According to World Bank statistics, 100% of U.S. households today have access to electricity (although Puerto Rico may dispute that right now!). In 1906, fewer than 8% of U.S. households had electricity. In the intervening century, electricity became a necessity in our daily lives. And electrical appliances became a part of all of our lives.

Breakfast in one appliance?

What do you think - is this the newest gadget for creating a quick breakfast? Looks like a waffle maker, a coffepot, and a toaster? Or is that a griddle for bacon and eggs?

A leisurely breakfast in your dressing gown . . .

In 1908, these were the newest electrical coffee pot, toaster, and egg poacher. All of which you could bring to the breakfast table and use to cook while you're sitting and looking elegant. A big difference from stoking the fire in a wood stove and standing over it, cooking - the food and yourself. (Yes, those wood stoves were hot - especially on a hot day!)

Soup's on?

A bowl, a bell, and a big spoon - is this appliance for soup making? It could be a chafing dish, but it looks a bit deep for that . . . what's your best guess?

You got us

It's called an electrical oil burner (1933) - but what did they use it for? Today, the only oil burners are for essential oils and aromatherapy but in the 1930's, bet that wasn't a goal.

1930's Refrigerator

In the 1930's, the GE Monitor Top refrigerator was the new big thing. It was advertised as being just a little bigger than a hatbox - appealing to female customers. Today, the bigger the better, right? This fridge would probably be considered dorm room size now.

General Electric Stove

In the 1920's, GE introduced a brand new convenience for the kitchen - the electric stove. A stand-alone piece of furniture! This stove almost looks like art, it's so visually appealing.

1933 egg cooker. Do you use an egg cooker? If you want hard boiled eggs, you do it on the stove. If you want soft boiled eggs, you're old! :) If you want poached eggs, the microwave works. Does anyone use an egg cooker now? And if you do, for what?

1933 knife sharpener - with a scary cord. We still have knife sharpeners but most people probably just keep them in the drawer. The plug and cord on this one should be kept far from any modern outlet!

1933 waffle iron - not very different from today. Waffle irons haven't changed much, have they? The thing that stands out with early appliances is that they were made to look elegant - often, they were silverplated. Today, we're all about being casual.

It does almost everything for you - except eat the toast.

Automatic toaster - put a slice of bread in the top, it comes out the bottom as toast. It's kinda disappointing that there wasn't a butter knife at the bottom to automatically butter the toasted bread!

Have photos that you'd like to see included? Share your photos or see photos of the people who were known as "computers" (before we had technology) on the next page.
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