Inventors to Thank for Everyday Appliances

Garbage Disposal: John W. Hammes got the garbage disposal patented by 1935 and had it on the market by 1940. He made the very first garbage disposal in 1927 in Racine, Wisconsin.

Washer: Clothing washers have been around since almost the beginning of time with creations like the wash board.  The way people washed their clothes changed forever in 1908 when Alva J. Fisher invented the first electric washing machine.

Dryer: In 1915 J. Ross Moore invented the first electric clothing dryer in North Dakota and patented the design by 1935.

Microwave: Percy Spencer patented the first microwave on October 8th 1945.  However this microwave, unlike it’s modern counterpart, was around 6 feet tall, 800 pounds, and nearly 5,000 dollars. It wasn’t until around 1965 that the microwave become affordable and kitchen ready.

Refrigerator: The first modern refrigerator was designed in 1805 by a man named Oliver Evans. Unfortunately, Evans did not further pursue his refrigerator design until he moved to Philadelphia and met a man named Jacob Perkins. Evans and Perkins modified the refrigerator design and patented the first modern refrigerator in 1835.

Dishwasher: Josephine Cochran, in 1893, invented the very first motor run dishwasher that used water pressure instead scrubbers to clean the dishes. Cochran got the dishwasher patented in 1897 in Shelby, Illinois.

Air Conditioner: Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioner in Buffalo, New York in 1902. The air conditioner was patented in 1906. In 1914 Carrier was layed off from his engineering position at Buffalo Forge Company.  This was a blessing in disguise as he later went on to co-found the Carrier Engineering Company.  Still today the Carrier Engineering Company is one of the major manufacturers of heating and cooling appliances.


Furnace: Alice H. Parker designed the first furnace in Morristown, New Hampshire in 1919. On December 23, 1919 Alice Parker’s patent was accepted for the first single source, gas-fired furnace.

Cherry Pie

A classic American dessert.

For the Pie Dough (Double crust):

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 7 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 10 tablespoons ice water

Directions for the Pie Dough:

1. Process the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn the mixture into a medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 8 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix. Press down on the dough with the broad side of the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tablespoons more ice water if the dough will not come together. Divide the dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other. (If possible, weigh the pieces; they should weigh 16 ounces and 14 ounces.) Flatten the larger piece into a rough 5-inch square and the smaller piece into a 4-inch disk; wrap separately in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days, before rolling.20150907_104413

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Roll the larger piece of dough to a 15×11-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick; transfer the dough rectangle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a pizza wheel, fluted pastry wheel or paring knife, trim the long sides of the rectangle to make them straight, then cut the rectangle lengthwise into 8 equal strips.

4. Next, roll the smaller piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Working around the circumference of the pan, ease the dough into the pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the pan bottom with the other hand. Leave the dough that overhangs the lip of the pie plate in place. Place the baking sheet with the strips of dough in the freezer and the dough-lined pie plate in the refrigerator; chill for 30 minutes.20150907_105718

For the pie filling

  • 4 cups pitted tart red cherries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch20150907_114330


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make the Cherry Pie Filling: Place cherries into a saucepan over medium heat, and cover the pan; heat cherries until they release their juice and come to a simmer, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the sugar with cornstarch until smooth; pour the mixture into the hot cherries and juice, and thoroughly combine. Return to low heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until the filling has thickened, about 2 minutes; remove from heat, let cool, and use as pie filling.
  4. Add the filling to the pie crust.
  5. Remove the strips of dough from the freezer (if they are too stiff to be workable, let stand at room temperature until softened slightly but still very cold) and top with a lattice design.20150907_110435
  6. Crimp the edges, brush the edges and lattice design with egg wash.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, checking on it periodically.
  7. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the cherries are bubbling. If at any time the edges get too browned, use a sheet of foil to cover any part of the crust (this will shield it from getting darker).20150907_111833
  8. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 hours for neat slices. For a mouth watering gooey warm cherry pie, serve right away.20150907_135211

5 Common Energy Myths

Some ideas are so widely believed they don’t even cause a second thought. Although often true, such common wisdom may be based on outdated or false information. Popular misconceptions about energy use can reduce home comfort and raise utility bills. Listed below are five energy myths that may be costing you.

  1. If you set the thermostat higher or lower it will heat or cool a room faster.

    No matter what the thermostat setting, air conditioners and furnaces work at the same speed. As a matter of fact, more energy may be wasted as the system continues to run to reach the further set point.IMG_1696

  2. If you leaving the lights on it uses less energy than turning them on and off.

    In most instances, the small surge of power needed to turn a light on is much less than the power that is wasted by leaving it on when it’s not needed.  In fact, MythBusters busted this myth in one of their episodes years ago.IMG_1697

  3. If you close off vents you will reduce heating and cooling costs.

    Closing vents is a terrible way to save on energy costs. Cooling and heating systems are designed to distribute air evenly; closing vents causes pressure to build up. This pressure build up often results in duct leaks that waste energy.

  4. If you leaving a ceiling fan on it will cool a room.

    Ceiling fans circulate air which makes you feel cooler.  This allows you to save energy by raising the temperature on the thermostat. However, they don’t cool the air. Leaving fans on in empty rooms wastes energy.IMG_1698

  5. Hand washing dishes is cheaper than using a dishwasher.

    It’s a widely believed misconception that dishwashers are convenient, but use more water and energy than hand washing. When in fact, washing a typical load of dishes in a dishwasher uses 37% less water.  Likewise, using a dishwasher, rather than hand washing, may cut your annual energy costs by more than $40, according to ENERGY STAR.IMG_1699


    Happy Valentines Day!

50 Ways your Home can Save the Earth – A Good to be Home Infographic

Reduce your negative impact on the environment and improve your well being with 50 ways your home can save the earth.

Just a note: I apologize for the metric system measurements.  The source is from the United Kingdom.50-ways-your-home-could-save-the-earth

Source: 50 Ways your Home can Save the Earth – A Good to be Home Infographic