She has a self cleaning house – can I have one too?

 1940 census1940 Census

Congratulations to me! I’m officially a blog ambassador for the 1940’s census. That means that I get to help hype people up about the opening of the 1940’s census while simultaneous sending out a call to action. Ready for the call to action? Here it is : If you love history and want to help the world be a better place than sign up to be an indexer. I have actually helped index before and it’s kind of cool. You get to help go through scans of old records and transfer them to digital form (type them into the computer).

And now for the fun part of being a 1940’s blog ambassador: talking about the cool things from the forties. I’ll be talking about all kinds of neat things that came from this marvelous decade, but I’d like to start with an awesomely strange invention that never quite took off.

Did you know that it was soon after World War II (which ended in 1945) that Frances Gabe invented the self-cleaning house? It’s true. She still lives there today and even gives tours. Everything in her house is protected with resin so that water won’t hurt it and then 68 different devices spray the house down when Frances pushes a button. The walls, the pictures, the floors, everything is sprayed down and cleaned.

You can read more about it in this article from The New York Times.

Ya’ll know how much I LOVE housework, I’ve mentioned it in a few posts like this one. So I’m not sure why this didn’t take off. K, so maybe I understand the¬†impracticability (it’s a word), expense, lack of decorating taste, etc., but I admire the ingenuity of it all, and you know, we could use that same ingenuity today. Maybe not to invent a self-cleaning house, but I’m sure there’s a better way to scrub burnt oil off a pan – oh yeah the no-stick pans I don’t own – but I’m sure we can come up with a way to better wash the dishes – oh yeah the dish washer I don’t own – but I’m sure… meh, there ARE things to be ingenious about – what awesome invention would you like someone to create?