During the early years of the Twentieth century, life in the home was remarkably changed by one phenomenon - electricity. Although it was known about in the 1700s, it was nearly 200 years after electricity made its impact on everyday life. The application of a power source to appliances such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners removed much of the hard work from domestic labour and led to cleaner, warmer, and brighter houses. Electricity also saved time, releasing people from housework so that they could enjoy their leisure hours. Most houses were connected to an electric power supply by about 1940.


Electricity was supplied to many houses in Europe in the early 1900s, enabling householders to replace their oil lamps and candles with electric lights.

Thomas Alva Edison (1847- 1931) was the inventor of light bulb. At the age of twelve had a job selling newspapers. He made money in a clever but simple way. He checked the news stories first. When the news was interesting he took a lot of papers; when it was boring. He took only a few. He got a job sending telegraph messages. Then he started inventing things. He saw ways to make the telegraph system quicker. Later he made a better microphone for Bell's invention, the telephone. In 1877 he made a "phonograph" - the first ever sound recorder. The following year he invented the light bulb.

In 1882 New York was the first city in the world with electric lights.

1907: an electric washing machine was invented by Alva Fisher.



1908: mass- produced electric cleaners, designed by William Hoover, first appeared in the United States.


1909: U.S.A. chemist Leo Baekeland prepares to market his newly invented synthetic plastic, the "Bakelite".


1913: home refrigerators are invented in the U.S.A. By the 1950s, most people owned a Fridge. Food could be stored for days. Nobody bought ice anymore. Look at some old jobs!


1939: in the U.S.A. General Electric launches the first refrigerators with a freezer compartment.

1940: microwave technology using microwave to make food molecules vibrate, create friction and heat and thus cook food is developed which leads to the invention of the microwave oven.

These labour-saving household mostly relied on electricity.


But you can still live without electricity, as the Amish people do

And here you can buy non-electric appliances:

If you are interested in INVENTIONS and INVENTORS, click here:

Elisa De Maria
Nicole Notelea
Monica Presti
Marica Santi