Electric Utensils

At present there are the electric chafing-dish, the toaster, the water-heater, the heating-pad (in place of a hot-water bottle), the small electric stove, and the electric iron, all within reach of the advanced housekeeper. Electric flatirons are not very expensive to buy or to use; they cost little in electricity and, if carefully treated, waste less heat than other irons.

Gas irons are a comfort to house-mothers with gas stoves. They are comparatively inexpensive and use far less gas than ordinary irons on a gas stove. The carbon iron is quite new on the market. The old-fashioned selfheating charcoal iron of our grandmothers is still used extensively in the tropical countries.

A hygienic objection to the use of gas, oil, and other convenient forms of concentrated fuel, is that they vitiate the air with products of combustion, and unless there is provision for absolute ventilation under all circumstances, their use is dangerous to health. When the products of combustion are immediately drawn off by means of a flue, as in the case of a cooking-stove, this objection does not obtain. On this account the use of electricity is greatly to be preferred. Clean, absolutely safe, and free from danger of explosion, it is not injurious to the health, and in the end is likely to be more economical, even if the first cost is greater.

Gas Stoves

Gas ranges or cook-stoves are to be found in all the modern apartments in the cities and in large towns where gas is used for lighting purposes. The coal range, with its dirt and ashes, will soon be a thing of the past. Gas stoves are of all sizes and prices, from a tiny stove with only two burners and a small oven, for a kitchenette, to a large range with a hood, suitable for a very large family, or even a hotel.

A gas stove permits the regulation of heat, and the results are accurate when handled carefully and intelligently. There is very little literature that one can read about using gas for cooking, but the gas companies are most helpful, sending demonstrators where-ever there is a stove; these demonstrators will teach the housekeeper many things necessary to know.

The only real way to learn is to use the gas range, and make notes of valuable ideas as they come. Saving gas, and at the same time securing all the required heat and satisfactory results, is the great problem. Soon one may discover that a yellow flame means a loss of gas, and it is an economy to notify the gas company. A gas stove that is not kept clean burns more gas than is necessary; it is most important to clean the stove at least once a week.