iPhoneOgraphy – 12 Jul 2016 (Day 194/366)
In cooking, a gas stove is a cooker / stove which uses natural gas, propane, butane, liquefied petroleum gas or other flammable gas as a fuel source. Prior to the advent of gas, cooking stoves relied on solid fuel such as coal or wood. The first gas stoves were developed in the 1820s, and a gas stove factory was established in England in 1836. This new cooking technology had the advantage that it was easily adjustable and could be turned off when not in use. However the gas stove did not become a commercial success until the 1880s, by which time a supply of piped gas was available in large towns in Britain. The stoves became widespread on the European Continent and in the United States in the early 20th century.
Gas stoves became less unwieldy when the oven was integrated into the base and the size was reduced to fit in better with the rest of the kitchen furniture. By the 1910s, producers started to enamel their gas stoves for easier cleaning. Ignition of the gas was originally by match and this was followed by the more convenient pilot light. This had the disadvantage of a continual consumption of gas. The oven still needed to be lit by match, and accidentally turning on the gas without igniting it could lead to an explosion. To prevent these types of accidents, oven manufacturers developed and installed a safety valve called a flame failure device for gas hobs and ovens. Most modern gas stoves have electronic ignition, automatic timers for the oven and extractor hoods to remove fumes.
A major improvement in fuel technology came with the advent of gas. The first gas stoves were developed as early as the 1820s, but these remained isolated experiments. James Sharp patented a gas stove in Northampton, England in 1826 and opened a gas stove factory in 1836. His invention was marketed by the firm Smith & Philips from 1828. An important figure in the early acceptance of this new technology, was Alexis Soyer, the renowned chef at the Reform Club in London. From 1841, he converted his kitchen to consume piped gas, arguing that gas was cheaper overall because the supply could be turned off when the stove was not in use.
A gas stove was shown at the World Fair in London in 1851, but it was only in the 1880s that the technology became a commercial success in England. By that stage a large and reliable network for gas pipeline transport had spread over much of the country, making gas relatively cheap and efficient for domestic use. Gas stoves only became widespread on the European Continent and in the United States in the early 20th century.
Early gas stoves were rather unwieldy, but soon the oven was integrated into the base and the size was reduced to fit in better with the rest of the kitchen furniture. In the 1910s, producers started to enamel their gas stoves for easier cleaning.