We take so much for granted in our lives, we often ignore some of the products that have significantly improved the quality of it. Household appliances, for example, have made cooking quicker, easier, and safer. Appliances have changed the way we clean our homes and our clothing. Appliances help us in food preparation and storage.
To fully appreciate how appliances make life easier for us today, lets take a quick look back in time.
Before refrigerators and freezers, households had to rely on root cellars and storing foods in canning jars. Keeping fresh foods cold was accomplished with ice boxes, which, in essence, were giant coolers where blocks of ice were kept to keep items cold. “Ice Men”, either driving a horse pulled cart or early truck, would drive neighborhoods, offering homeowners an opportunity to buy fresh blocks of ice to refresh their ice boxes. The term was used so long, many families continued to call these appliances ice boxes long after refrigerators took their place.
Prior to modern electric or gas stoves, ovens, and microwaves, families used a combination of fireplaces and iron wood-fueled stoves to create the heat needed to make soups, foods and even coffee. Imagine the effort it took to find, cut and store wood and then fire up the oven or fireplace just to cook a meal. Back in the day, cooking was not just difficult, open flames indoors along with hot metal pots, pans and kettles and liquids made it frequently dangerous. Today, microwaves, slow cookers, air fryers, and instant-style cooking pots make cooking a comparative breeze.
It is hard to find a home today that doesn’t have some combination of electric appliances to just help us in preparing foods. These include blenders, mixers, food processors. It may not have been uncommon for grandma to use an assortment of simple kitchen utensils like potato mashers, wooden spoons and knives to prepare foods. If they had a mixer, it may have been hand operated.
Straw brooms have been replaced by vacuums, single use cleaning pads and even robotic floor sweepers. Rather than hand-washing and wringing clothes out with a wringer-washer, and hanging them out to dry on a clothesline, we simply pile clothes in a machine, add some soap, turn on a button and then throw them in a dryer. For some families, laundry took all day every Saturday.
What is even more amazing to consider is that many of these old ways of doing things were in use less than a hundred years ago. We may not be flying around in jet-packs, but grandma would sure be surprised with how we get housework done today.
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