This is an advertising photograph showing off GE’s new fangled electrical cooking pot, just what every housewife in 1908 needed. Here the model is showing off her cooking skills on an electrical heating plate plugged into a light fixture. I don’t know how safe that was, but she sure looks happy making soup. Fulfillment at last!
If you are wondering why the cooking appliance is plugged into a light socket, it’s because when electricity was first introduced into homes, it was only to power the lights. There were no appliances or other electrical devices. So there were no electrical outlets because the need did not exist for them. When companies like GE came out with electrical devices such as this cooking pot the only way to connect them to the electrical system was to remove a light bulb and plug them into the light socket. This doesn’t look too bad in this staged promotional photo, but it got a bit ridiculous when households started to get more and more electrical gadgets – from radios to vacuum cleaners. The typical room turned into a spider web of electrical plugs all vying for limited power outlets.