Gas has been the primary source of household energy for over 200 years. Although since the beginning of the 20th century it has been slightly inferior to the current one, it has long been considered synonymous with luxury and innovation. Many gas appliances are still present in our immediate vicinity. There are as many thanks to their gas prototypes. Let’s take a look at some of the iconic solutions without which it’s hard to imagine life today.
As early as 1802, the Austrian Zachäus Winzler used gas to heat his house. In order to be able to cook with it, he also led it to the kitchen. At the beginning of the 19th century, however, he failed to popularize the gas stove or find a sponsor for mass production. A stove, designed in 1826 by an Englishman, James Sharp, an employee of the Northampton gasworks, showed greater possibilities. It was a vertical stove with hooks at the top to hang meat for roasting, with a ring of burners at the bottom.
The first copies of the cooker appeared on the market in 1834. Despite the initial successes, Sharp decided not to start mass production. The breakthrough was the visit of Lord Frederick Spencer to the inventor’s house. The aristocrat wanted a gas lunch. It was then that Sharp realized the great potential of his invention. Already in 1836, he founded a factory employing 35 workers, thanks to which the production of stoves started at full speed. Over time, it has become the basic piece of equipment in every home. And so it is today.
The first machine resembling a coffee machine appeared in 1855 in Paris. However, the actual gasoline-powered coffee machine was built in 1884 by Italian hotelier and restaurateur Angelo Moriondo. The device was huge, it consisted of two tanks for water and coffee. The machine could brew ten cups of coffee in just two minutes. According to customer reports, the coffee was very intense, aromatic and had a characteristic light brown crema. An interesting fact is that Moriondo never commercialized his project, nor bet on mass production. That’s probably why he’s not a well-known character today.
In 1856, Australian printer James Harrison developed and patented the design of the first absorption cooler, which used the mechanism of liquid ammonia to gas when heated with a gas burner. Although he was an amateur inventor, refrigerators immediately went on sale.
Twenty years later, German engineer and inventor, Professor Dr. Carl von Linde perfected the design. In 1895, he developed his own method of liquefying gases and, ten years later, he founded the company Linde AG, specializing in technical gases. Portable gas refrigerators are still popular today, incl. in motorhomes.
Few people know that there would be no modern hair dryer without the French hairdresser Alexandre-Ferdinand Godefroy. In 1886, he built the first dryer for the needs of his Parisian salon. It was stationary and gas powered. It was a massive stove connected to a pipe through which hot air flowed in a rigid dome surrounding the customer’s head. The innovative hairdresser, after disconnecting the heater, also used a stationary dryer to wash clients’ hair and as a wig stand. Godefroy patented his idea for a dryer in 1888 in the American Missouri, where he lives. Her invention inspired future creators of electric clothes dryers who conquered the world of women. It should be added that household and industrial gas dryers are still successfully present on the market.
It is difficult to clearly establish the inventor of the gas iron, because the history of ironing dates back to the 4th century BC and for hundreds of years this device was powered by traditional energy carriers, for example coal, metals, briquettes, gasoline and alcohol. .
The first iron was not officially patented until 1862 in the United States. A year later, the GROSSAG company was founded in Württemberg, Germany, which quickly became the largest exporter of irons in the world. Around this time, many manufacturers in the United States, France, Austria, and Germany, in addition to the then-typical cumulative, soul, and charcoal irons, began producing gas-heated irons. Interestingly, to this day, LPG-powered irons (as well as refrigerators and cookers) are very popular in India.
The first gas lamp to light the apartment was used in 1792 by a Scotsman, Sir William Murdoch. It was a metal tube, at the outlet of which gas from the retort burned – a device in which coal, heated without access to air, released gas. Other improvements included the introduction of a butterfly burner, a modified Argand burner and, most importantly, the so-called Auera T-shirts – track and ceremonial soaked cotton mesh, which when heated began to shine with a beautiful white light. From the beginning of the 19th century, gas lanterns appeared in the streets of the largest cities in Europe as well as in North and South America. Over time, gas lighting was replaced by electric lighting. Today, small-scale gas lamps are still used to light the streets of some towns, but are more often used to light gardens or for tourist purposes.
More information on this topic can be found on the website of the Virtual Gas Museum www.wmgaz.pl