What do many household appliances have in common?
Despite their varied uses and different systems of wires, pipes, and vents, household appliances use electricity to run. They also rely on a transformer, a nineteenth-century invention that made it possible to transmit power for home use. In the early 1900s two major engineering innovations—resistance heating and small, efficient motors—led to electric stoves and irons, vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers, and dishwashers. In the second half of the twentieth century advances in electronics made the way for appliances that could be set on timers and even programmed, further reducing the workload necessary to complete simple tasks.