Appliance Design and Engineering: Changing the Way We Live

Appliance design and engineering consists of using the latest technology to create machines that can automate household tasks, thereby reducing labor, time, and inefficiency. Throughout history, such mass industrialization has changed human lives by creating more leisure time that can be leveraged for other tasks. Often, societies and traditions have changed as a result of an increase in technology and the surge of appliances that followed. As technology grows the potential for never-imagined appliances will change the progress of human productivity.

Appliance Inventions

Appliances like the icebox, the sewing machine, electric washing machines and the vacuum cleaner changed social lifestyles. People no longer had to shop for fresh meats and groceries as frequently because they could preserve foods in their homes using refrigerated appliances. The labor of washing clothes by hands suddenly because an easy job that simply required the pushing of a few buttons. As appliances in from the 1920s through the 1970s flourished, so did the free time of women. Academic studies show that increased fertility and increasing percentages of women in the labor force were a result.

1920s appliances: An article exploring the impact of new technology on housewives and the role of women in society.

Household Technology: A pictorial snapshot of major household appliances through the years.

Housework in Late 19th Century America: This study looks at how laborious housework was before appliances.

Refrigerator History: Carl von Linde invented the refrigerator in 1875.

Woman Invented Dishwasher: The first dishwasher was invented in 1886 by Josephine Garis Cochran.

Inventing the Dishwasher: Details about the invention of this common household appliance.

Machine for Washing Table Furniture: An early version of a washing machine was patented in 1850.

Appliance Improvements

In modern time, it is typical for people to use electrical gadgets for cooking, cleaning and personal grooming. The tendency has led to an overuse of natural resources and an extreme amount of waste according to some critics. In response, many sectors of society, including the government, are pushing for smaller, more energy-saving appliances. Green appliances offer greater power and smaller footprints while straining fewer resources.

Green Appliances: Energy-saving appliances and electronics by category.

Appliance Energy Use: Chart of how much energy is used for common household appliances, which demonstrates the need for energy efficiency.

Energy Efficient Domestic Refrigeration System: A 1994 patent describing energy efficient refrigeration.

Assess Energy Impact: Zero-energy homes and the impact of appliances.

ENERGY STAR: A look at energy star appliances encourages by the U.S. Government.

Appliance Success Stories: Two examples of energy efficiency in appliances, from the US Department of Energy's Building Technologies Program.

Appliances of the Future

The continual swell in technology will lead to the presence of robotic or smart homes. These homes will feature computers that understand natural human language and do not require tedious programming. They will be automated to manage household tasks at certain times and often without monitoring. In order to conserve resources many future smart homes may employ solar panels and other forms of alternative sources of energy.

Necessities of the Future: This PowerPoint presentation concludes with a look at what gadgets will be standard for future homes.

Green Student Designs: College student engineers craft greener technology for modern and future use.

Appliances of the Future: An article exploring how computers will influence the future of appliances.

Using the Past to Design the Future: A document that examines past appliance design in order to determine what needs to be explored in the future.

The Kitchen of Tomorrow: This website suggests future improvements for contemporary kitchens.

The Language of Appliances: This Washington University academic paper explores how in the future household appliances will use natural language to communicate with humans.

Intelligence in Future Homes: This document projects how computers will cater to daily needs and events. 

Additional Appliance Parts