The first gas stoves were developed already in 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.) At the World Fair in London in 1851, a gas stove was shown, but only in the 1880s did this technology start to become a commercial success. The main factor for this delay was the slow growth of the gas pipe network.
The first gas stoves were rather unwieldy, but soon the oven was integrated into the base and the size 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. A high-end gas stove called the AGA cooker was invented in 1922 by Swedish Nobel prize winner Gustaf Dalén. It is considered to be the most efficient design and is a much sought after kitchen "must have" in certain circles—despite the hefty price tag.
Electric ignition stoves use electric sparks to ignite the surface burners. This is the "clicking sound" you hear just before the burner actually lights. If the power fails, surface burners must be manually match-lit. Electric ignition for ovens uses a "hot surface" or "glow bar" ignitor. Basically it is a heating element that heats up to gas's ignition temperature. A sensor detects when the glow bar is hot enough and opens the gas valve.
A holiday health warning; Harmful gases - carbon monoxide and nitrogen monoxide - are worrisome at Thanksgiving, when gas stoves are on for long periods. Easy steps can mitigate the danger.(VARIETY)
Nov 13, 2001; Byline: Donna Halvorsen; Karen Youso; Staff Writers RSEC: + Felt groggy after last year's Thanksgiving dinner? It may not have...