Hundred-Year-Old “Electrics” Advertisement

Manning-Bowman Electrics Advertisment
Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

Still looking for that perfect holiday gift for that special someone? Maybe you should give them an “electric.”  Manning-Bowman Electrics can make cooking by electricity practical. 🙂

23 thoughts on “Hundred-Year-Old “Electrics” Advertisement

  1. My mom could cook the best fried chicken in the world in her electric. She’d plug it in and use it right next to the electric cook-top. Never asked her why. Just enjoyed the chicken.

  2. I was surprised to see alcohol mentioned as a choice along with electricity, gas or coal.

    My grandparents has a large gas stove in the kitchen. The guest room where my sister and I slept was above the kitchen and there was a vent in the floor so the heat from the stove kept us nice and toasty. (I think it was always on as a source of heat.) And when Grandfather started cooking his oatmeal, the slow old-fashioned way, the aroma floated upstairs, too. Memories…

    1. When I lived aboard a boat, I had an alcohol stove. It was fine, except it burns cooler than propane, and cooking times can be longer. The stoves can be pressurized or not, and everyone agrees that the non-pressurized is much better and safer.

    2. I can remember a couple childhood friends who lived in houses with vents in the floor. It always seemed like a really interesting way to heat the upstairs rooms.

  3. In my first apartment in Kansas City, my “stove” was an electric skillet. It’s amazing what you can do with one of those things: soups, biscuits, cake, casseroles. They’re not just for frying! With an electric skillet, a toaster, and an electric percolator, I was set. If I’d had a rice cooker to go along with it, I would have been in heaven. Back then, I’m not even sure electric rice cookers were around, and I’m not even sure the crockpots had arrived yet. Honestly, I think the crockpot was devised as a replacement for the electric skillet. Strange to think I’m older than those things.

    1. Wow, you made a lot of different foods in an electric skillet. It’s amazing how you were able to use just a few appliances to cook so much. I can also remembering creatively using limited supplies and equipment years ago to make interesting foods. . . .awe. . . to be young again. 🙂

  4. I didn’t realize they had electric appliances back in 1913. I used to cook on a hot plate and an electric frying pan back in the 1970s when my living space was limited.

  5. Of all things, my son-in-law asked for a toaster for Christmas. He likes the ones that make 4 slices at a time and that’s the “electric” I’m getting him this year.

    1. He’s lucky to have a mother-in-law like you. It would be convenient to have one of those. Often I want to make more than 2 slices, and the first batch gets cold before the second is toasted.

    1. They were probably status items that only the trendsetters had. It’s interesting how they were sold in jewelry stores. “Electrics” were obviously very luxurious items. I also think that most people (especially in the rural areas) did not yet have electricity in their homes. I was surprised by this ad, since it suggests that electricity was becoming widely enough available that it made economic sense to put an advertisement in a mass-circulation magazine for “electrics”.

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