1920 Estate Electric Range Advertisement

Advertisement of Estate Electric Range
Source: Good Housekeeping (June, 1920)

Sometimes I see advertisements in hundred-year-old magazines that make me appreciate some of the little conveniences that I seldom think about. This advertisement made me realize that I am fortunate to have an electric strove (and that I am fortunate to have an air conditioner that I can turn on whenever I want to use it.)

55 thoughts on “1920 Estate Electric Range Advertisement

  1. Anyone who’s cooked on a wood stove would look at that advertisement longingly. There’s a reason people who could afford it built kitchens that were detached from the main house.

    1. That’s something that should have occurred to me but never really has in context. Being from a cold part of the country I knew that people often looked forward to the stove heating up in the winter, but it never occurred to me what it must have been like in the summer.

  2. I used to cook on a wood stove and you absolutely cannot use it in the summer. One year, on Thanksgiving, I decided to cook the turkey in the wood stove, a great romantic thought. However, it ended up being 58 degrees outside that day and about a hundred in the house. I was cooking the turkey in shorts and a tank top. It made a wonderful family story…

  3. The farmhouse I lived in as a child had a “summer kitchen” attached. That was where the wood stove was kept so that cooking didn’t heat up the living quarters during the hot weather. I’m happy to have that memory, and I happy that I don’t need a summer kitchen myself!

  4. I love how some of the older stoves, gas and electric, had warming compartment. I would love to have the ability to cook while keeping other food warm.

    1. I’m often get frustrated when the “new, improved” version of some product does not have some feature that the older version had that I’d really liked.

  5. One of the other things about electric stoves is that they are fast. Gas stoves too.

    Wood stoves have to be stoked and banked and all of that. It really impacted how food was cooked and tended to turn preparing meals into an all day process.

    People are so used to the idea that World War Two brought women into the workplace (actually World War One employed just about as many women in the workplace as WWII) that they’ve completely forgotten how the early 20th Century revolution in domestic machinery really changed everything, reducing all day domestic labor down to percentages of the day by an enormous degree.

    1. As you noted, the changes in the early 20th century were huge as electricity, automobiles, and other “modern” technology became widely available. A little later, the great depression really slowed down the purchase of electric/gas stoves, vacuum cleaners, etc.

  6. It’s good to stop and be thankful that we don’t have to do things the old-fashioned way. I am grateful for a microwave oven that cooks food quickly and doesn’t heat up the kitchen the way a regular stove does. Of course, I use the stove often, but it’s wonderful to have an alternative for some foods.

    1. How true – Your comment made me think about how there is a continuum. Wood stoves heat up kitchen more than electric stoves, and electric stoves heat up kitchens more than microwaves.

    1. How true – there were so many appliances introduced in during the first half of the 20th century that really made lives easier. Other appliances that come to mind include vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, washing machines, and electric dryers.

  7. This reminded me of a visit several years ago to a nearby State Park where a docent was doing a living history demonstration in the old farmhouse on a farm that had been incorporated into the Park. It was an interesting demonstration, but after 5 minutes I was close to passing out and had to step outside. One of the park rangers was just coming in to eat and how he could sit there in the stiffling heat was beyond me! The docent was wearing a long dress, too. Yes, I appreciate what women went through long ago and can see how this ad probably sold a lot of ovens. LOL, I’m sure they tripped the fuses in the houses though!

    1. People years ago must have somehow just gotten used to the heat. Your comment about fuses brought a smile to my face. When I was a child, if we ran both the dishwasher and the dryer at the same time, it often blew a fuse – and somehow it seemed like one family member was forever starting the dishwasher when someone else was using the dryer. So fuses blew often.

    1. The design of electric (and gas) ranges sure has changed across the years. It nice to hear that this post brought back some good (or maybe not so good) cooking memories

    1. I agree! Our lives are much easier than they were a hundred years ago. It’s wonderful to hear that you liked the ad. I also thought that it was a fun one.

  8. The picture…I had to do a double take! It is fashioned to look like a wood cook stove. I swear it looks like you have to use the heavy handle to lift the burner plate. How cute is that? And the surface does actually look flat. I had no idea they had the flat surface electric stoves back then. Or am I just not seeing the detail as I should? I don’t see coiled burners.

    1. I also don’t see coiled burners. I suppose they wanted to make the new-fangled electric stove look as similar as they could to the old wood and coal stoves that people were familar with.

      1. Yes, I can imagine that the change to cooking with electricity was a big step into foreign territory! My Dad remembers how strange he thought indoor plumbing was.

  9. Iโ€™m sure it made a difference in temperature in the kitchen but electric does add heat to a kitchen ,thatโ€™s why when canning itโ€™s nice to do it out in the laundry room. Grandma had a summer kitchen where she did her cooking when the weather was hot. One thing nice about keeping your stove outside in the heat it didnโ€™t take as much wood to keep it at the temperature you desired.

    1. Yes, electric stoves add heat. It definitely gets hot in my kitchen when I do a lot of cooking on a summer day. Until I read your comment, I never thought about how a wood stove doesn’t take as much wood when it is hot.

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