The stove has truly come to the centerpiece of kitchens all over the world. Taking a look back at products that have become a staple in our homes is always interesting to us. Let’s take a look at where the stove began and how it got to what it is today. We find looking back at products like the common stove can really help inventors look differently at common products and inspire them for the making of new products.
The early days: Let’s help inventors see the root of inspiration
In the early days, the stove wasn’t an appliance at all, it was a fire which was fueled by wood. This is how many people in the early days cooked their foods, with the obvious downfall of it being a major fire hazard, smokey and the uneven heat wasn’t efficient. Clay stoves were also used which enclosed the fire completely and were fuelled by wood or charcoal through a hole in the front. In both cases, pots were placed over or hung into holes.
In the 19th century, the first cooking iron stove was invented. It used one fire to cook multiple pots that were suspended into holes. The first half of this century there was a steady improvement in the design of the stove. Cast iron stoves replaced those made of masonry and the size began to shrink so people could incorporate stoves into their kitchens at home. This evolution can really help inventors understanding how a product can evolve and develop into new innovations.
The introduction of gas for cooking
Stoves around this time burned charcoal, as well as wood. Soon these stoves were replaced with gas due to an improvement in fuel technology and the first gas stoves were developed as early as the 1820s as isolated experiments and prototypes.
James Sharp patented the gas stove in 1826 and opened his factory in 1836. A gas stove was shown at The Great Exhibition in London in 1851 but it wasn’t until the 1880s that the technology started to catch on. By this point, gas became more affordable and efficient for domestic use and gas stoves became widespread around Europe.
The electric stove
The introduction of the electric stove was slow due to cities and towns needing to be stimulated with electricity first, and for electricity to be more affordable and widespread. Once electricity was more readily available by the 1930s this would help inventors improve the technology of the electric stove and it started to take over in household kitchens.
Today most stoves found in homes are electric and come with a glass/ceramic top but you probably didn’t guess this technology actually first appeared in the 1970s. However, it’s only becoming more and more of an affordable within the last decade or so. What inventions do you want to know the history and evolution of? If you’re an inventor, or will like us to help inventors, tell us below what inventions stories you would like to read about!
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!