In cooking, a gas stove is a cooker/stove which uses natural gas, propane, butane, liquefied petroleum gas or other flammable gas as a fuel source. Prior to the advent of gas, cooking stoves relied on solid fuel such as coal or wood. The first gas stoves were developed in the 1820s, and a gas stove factory was established in England in 1836. This new cooking technology had the advantage that it was easily adjustable and could be turned off when not in use. However the gas stove did not become a commercial success until the 1880s, by which time a supply of piped gas was available in large towns in Britain. The stoves became widespread on the European Continent and in the United States in the early 20th century.
Gas stoves became less unwieldy when the oven was integrated into the base and the size was reduced to fit in better with the rest of the kitchen furniture. By the 1910s, producers started to enamel their gas stoves for easier cleaning. Ignition of the gas was originally by match and this was followed by the more convenient pilot light. This had the disadvantage of a continual consumption of gas. The oven still needed to be lit by match, and accidentally turning on the gas without igniting it could lead to an explosion. To prevent these types of accidents, oven manufacturers developed and installed a safety valve called a flame failure device for gas hobs and ovens. Most modern gas stoves have electronic ignition, automatic timers for the oven and extractor hoods to remove fumes.
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