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Almanac: The first electric stove

Almanac: The first electric stove 01:56

(CBS News) And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: June 30th, 1896, 117 years ago today . . . the day America really got cooking.

For that was the day William S. Hadaway Jr., of New York, was awarded the first U.S. patent for an electric stove.

Until then, humans had used fire in one way or another to cook their food, whether by open flame or a succession of stoves . . . fueled by wood, coal, or gas.

Even Benjamin Franklin invented a stove in his time (though it was actually intended for heating).

A 1948 ad for a Hotpoint electric range with "pushbutton cooking." CBS News

Limited at first to wired-up cities, electric stoves got a big boost from the rural electrification projects of the 1930s and '40s.

During the great consumer boom that followed the end of World War II, electric stoves were the stars of many a TV commercial promising new ease and convenience for the harried housewife.

Though the first several generations of stoves featured spiral coils that heated up through resistance to the electrical current, more recent stove technology uses a more energy-efficient, glass ceramic cooktop.

Today, the appliance industry trade group estimates that 96 percent of American homes own a kitchen range, with 55 percent of households using an electric stove . . . compared to 41 per cent still cooking with gas.

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