The Crock-Pot has since been hailed an "unlikely symbol of women's equality" for the way it liberated so many career-minded ladies from the kitchen, but its arrival in the 1970s was serendipitous for another reason. Energy use was a huge issue at the time -- in 1973, OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) placed an oil embargo on the US for its support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War. This caused gas prices to skyrocket, and Americans to panic about energy consumption. The Crock-Pot, which proudly claimed to consume as much energy as a light bulb, was the perfect kitchen solution.
"It was [Rival's] home economist who chose the Naxon Beanery as the one thing that they wanted to debut first, out of all my dad's patents," Lenore says. "It doesn’t use much energy at all. And it keeps you from using more energy, because it doesn’t heat up your kitchen."
Johnson also notes that, while energy was not the main selling point, it is referenced in the "letter to the consumer" booklet that came with the original Crock-Pot. "And you’ll love the way it saves electricity because the Crock-Pot uses such low wattage," she reads. "Actually, it cooks all day for about $.04."