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Heart Of The Home, The Story Of The AGA Kitchen

Posted on February 27, 2020 in AGA Cookers

Heart Of The Home: The Story Of The AGA Kitchen

The AGA kitchen has long been synonymous with a British country home. Despite, the fact that the AGA wasn’t even British invention. Furthermore, it is sold the world over with models for every kitchen, not just for the farmhouses and homes embracing the country chic.

With over 350,000 AGA kitchens across the UK, 750,000 AGAs sold globally, and its iconic look, the AGA range cookers are more than just a place to prepare food, they are the heart of the home. So, what’s the story behind these much-loved cookers?

Classic AGA Cooker
Classic AGA Cooker

How The AGA Kitchen Began

The AGA range cooker was designed in 1922 by a Nobel Prize-winning chemist. After being blinded in 1912, Gustaf Dalen was forced to stay at home. It was here that he realised how draining running the household was for his wife. Based in Sweden, Gustaf designed an all-in-one solution for his wife, Elma, to alleviate some of the stresses of the home, particularly those that her blind husband couldn’t help with.

With issues of using a range that was dangerous, dirty and time-consuming, Gustaf set about creating a solution that was clean and economical while also being easy to use. He focused on developing a solution that heated water, dried laundry and cooked with minimum fuss.

As a result, the Aktiebolaget Gas Accumulator or AGA, for short was born.

Wondering where the name comes from? The Aktiebolaget Gas Accumulator was actually the name of a Swedish company that developed systems for storing acetylene gas safely for lighthouses.

AGA In The UK

In 1929, seven years after the concept was first dreamed up, AGA came to Britain, with Edwards & Godding selling their first one in 1932, and by 1947 production of AGAs began in Shropshire. This is where they are still made to this day.

Throughout the 1930s, the advertising and sales of AGA kitchens to homes across the UK really took off. This is partly thanks to the advertising and selling strategies of David Ogilvy. During his work at AGA, he created The Theory and Practice of Selling an AGA. This is still regarded as one of the best manuals of all time.

Another sales boost was by the British Government as AGA kitchens were acquired during the war to feed citizens in the hospitals, munition works and community centres.

With such high demand from the government and families alike during the 1930s and 40s, there was a waiting list of over six months to receive an AGA range cooker.

Ogilvy Marketing Campaign
Ogilvy Marketing Campaign

AGA Energy

When AGA range cookers were first introduced, they required solid fuel to heat them. However, by the time of the Swinging Sixties, solid fuel had fallen out of favour. Instead, people wanted cleaner fuel options. AGA listened to demand and created oil and gas-fired cookers.

By 1985, AGA added its first electric model, which was ideal for many households as it didn’t require a flue.

AGA continued to offer energy saving options through its Total Control and Dual Control cooker options, and now the newer 3 Series and 7 Series ranges, as well as economy settings which allow the user to switch the AGA cooker off when it isn’t needed.

4 oven 30amp AGA Cooker
4 oven 30amp AGA Cooker

Why Every Kitchen Can Be An AGA Kitchen

From its vast array of colour options, fuel options and ways to use the hob, such as toast makers and even induction hobs, there is an AGA to suit every home. There’s the smallest AGA in the collection known as the AGA 60, which is just 60cm wide, while there is also a 5-oven AGA option plus module set-ups to make your range as big as you need.

With so many ways to make the AGA kitchen your own, you can add your personality and put your own stamp on the range. Furthermore, it will be a range cooker that will stand the test of time too. The Telegraph recently conducted a nationwide search to find the oldest AGA still in use, while the competition was close, an AGA installed in 1932 was crowned the winner. Thus showing an AGA isn’t just a cooker; it is a lifestyle investment.

Induction Hob and Modern Hotplates on a new AGA 3 Series
Induction Hob and Modern Hotplates on a new AGA 3 Series

To find out more about these iconic AGA range cookers call us on 0118 939 3046 or email sales@edwardsandgodding.co.uk