Who invented the stove?

The electric kitchen was a luxury at first

This electric stove with two hotplates and an oven cost 415 Reichsmarks in 1926.

Open fireplace with a chimney, as was common until the 19th century.

"Your own stove is worth gold," says an old saying. When it came into being, the hearth was an open hearth within the house. Above was the chimney through which the smoke was drawn off - or not, which is why this type of kitchen was called "smoke kitchen" or "black kitchen".

It was not until the 19th century that closed stoves appeared that made better use of fuel. They were referred to as "saving stoves". The idea also came up of making these stoves portable by no longer bricking them up, but packing them in an iron frame. In the course of the 19th century, gas was added as a new fuel to traditional stove-firing with wood and coal.

When the electricity supply emerged at the turn of the 20th century, it made sense to use the electricity for stoves as well. Because electricity can be converted almost 100 percent into heat. Above all, there are no emissions whatsoever.

Meyers Gro├čer Konversations-Lexikon from 1905 describes the state of affairs at that time under the heading "Stoves and Cooking Machines" as follows: "In general, even today, the cooking machines still make insufficient use of the heat when the fire is often very smoking." An exception is cooking with gas, which "offers many advantages". In addition - so it is said at the very end - devices have recently been constructed "with great success" which generate heat by means of electricity.

The first electric cooker in Germany, which was presented in Berlin in 1905, consisted only of individual electrical appliances.

In the same year, Germany's first electric cooker, which was demonstrated in Berlin, demonstrated what these devices looked like: It was not an electric stove, but individual hotplates, pots and pans, each individually connected to the socket and electrically heated. Only the masonry substructure on which this electrical hodgepodge was presented was reminiscent of a stove.

At that time, the electricity supply was not very efficient and electricity was very expensive. The electrical heat generated sometimes cost more than the meal prepared with it. This explains the initial limitation of electric cooking to individual devices.

The electric stove therefore made its debut where there was cheap electricity thanks to abundant hydropower, such as in Switzerland and Norway. The very first example is said to have been installed in the Hotel Bernina in the Swiss climatic health resort of Samaden in 1889. Significantly, this hotel had its own hydropower plant.

This electric stove must have been a handcrafted piece. Because it was not until 1891 that the production of devices for sale began. The first manufacturer was a company in the US state of Minnesota. The New York journal "The Electric Engineer" described the new product as follows: "The doors have a small glass window so that you can watch the baking process. Each heating plate consumes about five amps at 110 volts, and it has been determined that it is at When the maximum temperature is switched on, it only takes 12 to 15 minutes for the stove to heat up to 120 degrees Celsius. "

Electric hob and grill, both from 1897.

It was a few decades before the electric stove actually conquered kitchens. In 1925 there were only 5,000 electric stoves in Germany. Four years later, however, there were already 35,000, and in the thirties the electric cooker was finally able to establish itself.

Today, 82 percent of all German households cook electrically. The rest uses natural gas (11 percent) or liquefied petroleum gas (1.4 percent). Only 4.7 percent of households cook with coal or wood.

America as a role model: In order to spread electric cooking in Germany too, AEG had this brochure translated from English.