More than half a century ago, incensed by the housecleaning that was a woman’s chronic lot, Ms. Gabe began to dream of a house that would see to its own hygiene: tenderly washing, rinsing and drying itself at the touch of a button.
“Housework is a thankless, unending job,” she told The Ottawa Citizen in 1996. “It’s a nerve-twangling bore. Who wants it? Nobody!”
And so, with her own money and her own hands, she built just such a house, receiving United States patent 4,428,085 in 1984.
In a 1982 column about Ms. Gabe’s work, the humorist Erma Bombeck proposed her as “a new face for Mount Rushmore.”
Yet her remarkable abode — a singular amalgam of “Walden,” Rube Goldberg and “The Jetsons” — remained the only one of its kind ever built. The reasons, recent interviews with her associates suggest, include the difficulties of maintaining the patent, the compromises required of the homeowner and, just possibly, Ms. Gabe’s contrary, proudly iconoclastic temperament.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.