Back in Time | Kitchen Equipment

Have you ever thought of what life could be without kitchen equipment/appliances?! In today’s day and age, kitchen equipment is as important to us as the food that is prepared in the kitchen, as without these there would be no special meals made! But who invented them? And when?

The Microwave Oven
Dr. Percy Spencer was an American engineer, who worked for the Raytheon Corporation. After World War II he invented the first microwave oven. In 1946 he was working on magnetrons. One day at work, he had a candy bar in his pocket, and found that it had melted. He realized that the microwaves he was working with had caused it to melt. After experimenting, he realized that microwaves would cook foods quickly, even faster than conventional ovens that cook with heat. In 1947, the first commercial microwave oven, named the “Radarange” hit the market. These primitive units where gigantic and enormously expensive. They cost about US$5,000 each.“Radarange” – The first microwave oven. Photograph: Paul Popper/Getty Images

 The countertop microwave oven was first introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation, which had been acquired in 1965 by Raytheon. By the late 1970s the technology had improved to the point where prices were falling rapidly. By 1986, roughly 25% of households in the U.S. owned a microwave oven, up from only about 1% in 1971. Current estimates hold that over 90% of American households own a microwave oven.
via smecc and wikipediaAmana Radarange. Photographs: smeccvintageadbrowsermarketingvp

The Automatic Pop-Up Toaster
The automatic pop-up toaster, which ejects the toast after toasting it, was first patented by Charles Strite in 1919. In 1925, using a redesigned version of Strite’s toaster, the Waters Genter Company introduced the Model 1-A-1 Toastmaster, the first automatic pop-up, household toaster that could brown bread on both sides simultaneously, set the heating element on a timer, and eject the toast when finished. via wikipediaPhotograph: toasterthesummitprep

The Grater
It was invented by François Boullier in the 1540s  with the idea that hard cheeses could still be used.

The Gas Stove
In 1826 James Sharp patented a gas stove in Northampton, England. Other various improvements to the gas stove included the AGA cooker invented in 1922 by the Nobel Prize-winning Swedish physicist Gustaf Dalén, who was employed first as the chief engineer of the Swedish AGA company. The cookers were first imported to Britain in 1929, and were first manufactured there under licence in the early 1930s. via wikipediaA 1929 Aga (left) and a 1935 advertisement for the cooker. Photography: telegraphClassic AGA cooker. Photographs: agaliving

Here is the video that inspired me to make this post – a demonstration of a U-shaped kitchen, named Step Saving Kitchen, developed by the housing staff of the Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics. The video was produced in 1949 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please go to

Photographs: agnic

3 responses

  1. Bulky stuff compared to today. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!


    12/09/2012 at 12:41 PMSep

    • I am always glad to share! 😉


      15/09/2012 at 12:41 AMSep

  2. Very Cool



    26/09/2012 at 12:41 PMSep

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