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1920 - Leave your lights on!

1800 - 1879
1800  -  Electric battery invented by Alessandro Volta
1820  -  1st electric light demon- strated by Warren de la Rue
1821  -  Electric motor invented by Michael Faraday
1854  -  First light bulb invented by Hinrich Globel
1865  -  Patent for electric coffee percolator issued to James Nason
1875  -  Light bulb patented by Woodward & Evans
1879  -  First practical incandescent light bulb demonstrated by Thomas Edison
1880 - 1899
1880  -  First electric elevator constructed
1881  -  First commercially successful dry cell battery invented by Carl Gassner
1882  -  Electric Christmas lights introduced by Edward Johnson
1882  -  Electric iron patented by Henry Seely
1885  -  Electric mixer patented by Rufus Eastman
1886  -  Josephine Cochrane invesnts Elec. dishwasher
1886  -  Electric fan invented by Schuyler Wheeler
1889  -  Home electric sewing machine introduced by Singer
1890  -  First electric hair dryer patented by Alexandre Godefoy
1891  -  Electric stove invented by Carpenter Electric Heating
1891  -  Alternating current (AC) introduced in U. S.
1893  -  Electric toaster invented
1896  -  Electric stove first patented (not for home use)
1898  -  Battery-powered flashlight invented
1899  -  Rechargeable battery invented by Waldmar Jungner
1900 - 1909
1900  -  Electric toy trains invented by Joshua Cowen
1901  -  Alkaline battery invented by Thomas Edison
1901  -  Electric vacuum cleaner invented by Hubert Booth
1902  -  First electric air conditioner -  in Brooklyn
1903  -  First electric washing machines patented
1903  -  Lightweight electric iron introduced by Earl Richardson
1905  -  First movable vacuum cleaner invented;
1906  -  Permanent wave machine invented by Karl Nessler
1907  -  Electric amplifier invented by Lee De Forest
1908  -  Lightweight portable upright electric vacuum cleaner invented by James Spangler
1908  -  Electric coffee percolators first appear
1908  -  Spangler's electric vacuum cleaner patented by William Henry Hoover
1908  -  First electric-powered washing machine, the "Thor," introduced by Alva Fisher
1908  -  Standing mixer patented by Herbert Johnson
1909  -  First American-made electric toaster introduced
1910 - 1919

1910  -  Hotpoint introduces the first electric stove
1911  -  Single-beater electric mixer patented by Hamilton Beach
1911  -  Waffle iron introduced by General Electric
1911  -  Neon lights invented
1913  -  Electric dishwasher introduced by Walker Brothers
1913  -  Bissell introduces 33-pound Electric Suction Cleaner
1913  -  First in-home electric refrigerator introduced by General Electric
1915  -  Electric clothes dryers appear on the market
1915  -  Oven thermostat developed
1915  -  Nine-pound vacuum cleaner introduced by Franz
1916  -  Kelvinator introduces its first electric refrigerator
1916  -  First electric lawn mower introduced
1916  -  First radios with tuners allowed listeners to change stations
1918  -  First refrigerator with automatic controls introduced by Kelvinator
1919  -  Pop-up toaster with built-in timer invented by Charles Strite
1919  -  Stand mixer for the home introduced by KitchenAid
1919  -  Cone-shaped Christmas lights introduced by General Electric
(From Trail End Guilds Inc)
Women-in-the-1920s-Flat-Rock-Org.jpg

Although the science of electricity was known in the early 1800's,  it was not until the late 1800's that inventors, like Thomas Edison and others,  made it an applied science. 

"Anything that won't sell," said Edison, "I don't want to invent.  Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success."

By 1920, eager consumers saw the creation of all kinds of electric-powered home inventions,   from flashlights and batteries to refrigerators and garbage disposal.  Naturally,  the demand for electricity grew with the hunger for appliances.  Electricity in Marmora was first supplied by the Pearce Co.,  later to be taken over by the newly mandated Hydro-Electric Power Commission in the 1920's.

On November 4, 1920,  the Marmora Herald wrote the following:

"The work of reconstructing the Marmora Electric Light System is now well under way. As soon as the substation is completed, part of the village, at least will be changed to the Hydro and the remainder of the village as soon as the various sections can be completed. Owing to the recent heavy rains and the releasing of part of the water held back in the upper part of Trent Valley water shed, the Hydro now has sufficient power for its requirements in this district.

 1913 meter

1913 meter

Whether Hydro is to prove a success or failure and the cost of lights in Marmora will depend largely on the citizens of the village. If the use of the new power for the lighting of houses becomes general and any considerable amount is used for domestic purposes, such as irons, heaters, toasters, washing machines etc., and also for industrial purposes, the cost of lighting in many cases will not be much higher than at present. The cost of each light, if they were left on continuously as at present, would probably be three or four times as much, but with the meters those who wish to economize will turn off the lights they do not require at any time. On the other hand there will be the immense advantage of being able to turn on any light at any hour of the day or night and the nights will be very much brighter than at present.

With the installing of meters, changes will have to be made in the wiring of most houses, but very few will have to be completely rewired and the cost in many cases will not be as great as is anticipated. If the present intention is carried out the Council will make arrangements whereby the cost of new wiring and also extensive alterations may be paid in monthly installments together with the cost of the light.

One thing should be remembered, especially by property owners:  the street lights will have to pay the actual share of the cost of installation and operation, in proportion to the amount of power used for other purposes, and if the number of lights used is not increased,  it will add considerably to the tax rate. The more power used the cheaper it will be for all.

Between 1920 and 1931 more than 200 different brands of refrigerators were available.