If you ask me, the 1900 through 1919 was an incredible period in history. There were a large number of inventions and discoveries that took place. Many of them had an impact on American households. With that said, here’s a quick peek at five of them:
Rotary Dial Phones (1901)
One of the first inventions of the period was the rotary dial phone. Although nowadays they are largely considered antiques, in the 1900s they were cutting edge technology. The first ones were tabletop units. However, by the end of the decade the product line had expanded to include wall mounted models. Both were replaced in subsequent years with push button phones. Companies involved with the manufacture of the early rotary dial models were Automatic Electric and Bell. Before their introduction, people had to rely on hand cranked phones and a switchboard operator.
Air Conditioning (1902)
Air conditioning also made an appearance in the early 1900s thanks to Alfred Wolff. At the time, the units were a far cry from what we now today. Nonetheless, they worked. Some of the first early adopters of the technology were financial, business and health care related institutions. Among them were the New York Stock Exchange, Missouri’s Armour Building, Massachusetts’ Boston Floating Hospital and Illinois’ Congress Hotel.
Household Refrigerator (Electric – 1913)
In the early 1910s, American housewives were introduced to electric powered, home refrigeration thanks to an Indiana man by the name of Fred Wolf. Prior to that time, domestic divas had to rely on ice houses and ice boxes. However, the technology wouldn’t be perfected until much later. Of course nowadays our refrigerators are to the point where they do more than just keep our foods cold. Some dispense water and ice as well as house television units and computers.
Pyrex Glassware (1915)
Refrigerators and air conditioners weren’t the only great inventions that appeared from the 1900s through the 1910s either. Housewives were also introduced to the wonders of Pyrex Glassware. Personally, I love the stuff and have been using it since I was old enough to cook. It was created in 1915. In my opinion, its durability is part of what makes it so wonderful.
Stainless Steel (1911)
Lastly, thanks to Harry Brearley, stainless steel made an appearance during that period as well. Since that time, it has been used to create everything from cutlery, cookware and microwaves to stoves, refrigerators and countertops. Whether or not Americans continue their love affair with the product in the future remains to be seen.
Source: Personal Experience
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