More than 100 years ago, in the early 1900s, two men were inventing household appliances that would trigger the multi-billion dollar electric appliance industry we know today.
In 1903, Earl Richardson, a meter reader and plant superintendent for an electric power company in Ontario, California, developed a small, light-weight version of the heavy, cumbersome electric iron first patented in 1882. Richardson's invention was eventually named Hotpoint, after the heating elements that converged in the iron's tip, allowing it to be used to press around buttonholes and in and around ruffles and pleats on clothing and curtains.
Meanwhile, George A. Hughes, a 33-year-old former journalist from Iowa, was experimenting with the first electric range. The model was crude, with simple heating element wires set in clay bricks that burned out after only a few hours of use. After a few years of trial and error, Hughes created the electric range what would revolutionize the way we cook in our home kitchens.
In 1918, Richardson and Hughes joined forces, merging their companies with the General Electric Company, and creating the Hotpoint brand of appliances. Throughout the remainder of the decade, Hotpoint launched many appliance industry firsts: