With the Christmas countdown clock ticking, we felt it would be appropriate to highlight the inventions that have had the most significant impact on the holiday season.
The Artificial Christmas tree
First on our list is the artificial Christmas tree. Artificial trees have been around for a pretty long time; brought to America by German settlers in the early 1800’s. Those trees used to be table-top size, made of goose feathers dyed green. It wasn’t long before Americans began the floor to ceiling Christmas tree concept. Although it’s unclear who invented the first artificial Christmas tree, what we can tell you is that Sears, Roebuck & Company began offering the first artificial trees to the public in 1883. Plastic trees became more popular in the 1930’s, most of them being produced in factories where toilet brushes were made (you knew that material seemed familiar). Today, artificial trees have come a long way; they are now made of fire retardant material and heavy-duty steel frames, some even rotate and have LED lighting.
Ovens have been in various forms for thousands of years. For most of that time, the oven’s heat was supplied burning wood. It was not until the 1920’s that electric ovens became popular in America. The first patent for an electric oven was granted in 1896 to William Hadaway who is also credited with designing the first Westinghouse toaster.
The Can Opener
The idea of storing food in tin cans dates back to the early 1800’s. However, it was not until 50 years later in 1858 when Ezra J. Warner invented the first US can opener. Prior to this invention, people would use a hammer and chisel to pry the lids off of cans, which were made of iron and almost 3/16’s of an inch thick (about the thickness of two quarters pressed tougher). The general public didn’t fully accept this product until after the civil war when soldiers returned home who were using the can openers in the field of battle. By this time, cans were being made from much thinner steel, and can openers were becoming more ergonomic. Without the can opener, you would be using a hammer and chisel to crack open that can of cranberry sauce for this year’s holiday meal.
From our team a Davison, we wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.