Use of electric appliances at home increases in 1913.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 12/13/2000
  • Essay 2884

In 1913, the use of electric appliances in the home increases. Seattle City Light Superintendent J.D. Ross (1872-1939) notes in the utility's annual report that the department had entered "a new and important field for the use of electric energy, that of heating and cooking with electricity. This field is developing rapidly and is demonstrating that in the near future the supplying of electric energy for domestic purposes other than lighting is to become one of the important functions and revenue producers of the plant." In the early years of the twentieth century, utilities promoted the use of electricity mostly for commercial and industrial purposes.

The City Light Annual Report states, "At this time there is installed in residences throughout the city some or all of the following appliances using electric energy for domestic purposes:

  • Electric ranges
  • Electric heaters
  • Electric washing machines
  • Electric vacuum cleaners
  • Electric toasters
  • Electric percolators
  • Electric hot plates
  • Electric heating pads
  • Electric flat irons
  • Electric curling irons
  • Electric vibrators
  • Electric hair dryers

To promote electricity usage, City Light opened an appliance salesroom in its offices in the City and County Building where consumers could buy the latest in electric conveniences.


City of Seattle, Department of Lighting, "Annual Report for the Year 1913," pp. 2-3, typescript, City Light Record Group, Seattle Municipal Archives, Seattle, Washington.

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