Technological Autobiography: My Life with Home Appliances


My Life with Home Appliances

by Deborah Taylor-Hough


“Technology serves as a Rorschach over a lifetime, a projective screen for our changing and emotionally charged commitments.”[1]  – Sherry Turkle, Inner History of Devices


my freezerBack in the days before modern appliances, the work of keeping up a home was a full-time job.  From the need to replenish meats and vegetables on almost a daily basis due to a lack of safe food storage options, to washing clothing and diapers at the riverside, housekeeping was a never-ending chore.   I will examine the history of modern work-saving devices, looking at how the development of these items saves time and effort, focusing on stories from my own life and my family’s history and also discuss the role of appliances in the liberation of women from the solitary role of housewife. Continue reading