February 4, 2011

"Imagine, if you can, the delight of the woman who steps into her 'ready made' house and finds the kitchen already equipped with..."

"... electric refrigerator, dishwasher, sink, electric or gas stove, built-in clock, abundant cupboard space--and even a two-day supply of groceries on the shelves. And she never will be bothered by cooking odors because an electric exhaust quickly removes smoke, dust and fumes from the kitchen. In addition to the windows, indirect lighting gives plenty of illumination for her work in the compactly designed room."

You had me at built-in clock.

73 comments:

rhhardin said...

A microwave and a stack of paper plates is an important ingredient in the self-running kitchen.

traditionalguy said...

Does this mean that a woman who was homeless would be delighted? That would be the same for men and women. I expect that a paid for mortgage would delight them more.

shoutingthomas said...

A woman who loves to cook is a treasure.

My Filipina mama cooks for me. She's absolutely wonderful. It makes her happy. It makes me happy.

former law student said...

Our 50s house came with a double concrete laundry sink -- I guess Mom was supposed to run the clothes through a mangle when she was done handwashing them.

Triangle Man said...

Equally delightful for the modern house husband.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When I was a kid at Disneyland they had the Monsanto House of the Future. It looked kind of like a giant Polaroid camera. They had a picture phone! Being the Monsanto House of the Future, almost everything was made out of plastic. On the dining room table was a box of Life cereal, a Quaker Oats product that hadn't appeared on the market yet-- it was in the Future! Whenever I see a box of Life cereal, I think about the Future.

wv: nones: women who live in a nonery

rastajenk said...

Imagine, if you can, the overwhelming sadness of the woman who steps into her 'ready made' house and finds that she can't go shopping for any of the built-in features.

DADvocate said...

You had me at dishwasher.

Sofa King said...

And now, decades later, dishwashers are useless because we aren't allowed to buy proper soap for them anymore.

The market provideth; government taketh away.

BJM said...

Sometimes they get it right...they had me at Bellboy.

@fls

Ha! I snagged one of those babies at Omega hardware...one of the most useful items we've added to the house.

The dumbest home design move evah was the elimination of useful sized sinks in the laundry room or garage.

ricpic said...

One of the great divides in this world is between those who take modern conveniences for granted and those who can't get over being supported by same and can't quite believe that they're still there and still working each new day. It's probably bespeaks a general lack of confidence but count me in the latter group.

ricpic said...

It not it's.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

It's amazing how prescient 1930's science fiction has been--space travel, dishwashers, built-in clocks...

Toy

Big Mike said...

Nobody wants a "compact kitchen" anymore. Everybody wants a kitchen large enough to stage a soccer match, with room enough for fences to keep out the hooligans.

aronamos said...

God help me, I am in love with that sofa.

The exterior design looks a whole lot like an elementary school, though.

wv: rentsub. One way to cut the defense budget.

Alex said...

A woman who loves to cook is a treasure.

My Filipina mama cooks for me. She's absolutely wonderful. It makes her happy. It makes me happy.


Ah yes, woman's place is in the kitchen cooking up tasty males for her man. MCP.

Alex said...

I am a male feminist.

LordSomber said...

My father still calls the refrigerator "the ice box."

edutcher said...

It's easy to laugh, but not that many homes in 1935 (depths of the Depression, remember) had running water and that may have been all, not even electric lighting.

I'm sure a housewife of that era would have been overjoyed. I don't think we appreciate how much all those labor-saving devices do for us - and most weren't available to many families until after WWII.

Methadras said...

Roomba. Do not underestimate the awesomeness they possess.

madawaskan said...

cooking up tasty males for her man.

[...]

I am a male feminist.

Or cannibal advocate...

Jane said...

I don't have a bathroom sink big enough for the baby, though.

That still has to go on in the kitchen sink.

Mine was deep enough for a while to host a toddler. He'd lounge in the sink, feet up on the counter, sippy cup next to him. He still gets baths in the jacuzzi that I've never had time to relax in.

aronamos said...

How does a Roomba do with a cat, I wonder.

The Crack Emcee said...

edutcher,

It's easy to laugh, but not that many homes in 1935 (depths of the Depression, remember) had running water and that may have been all, not even electric lighting.

I'm sure a housewife of that era would have been overjoyed. I don't think we appreciate how much all those labor-saving devices do for us - and most weren't available to many families until after WWII.


That was the first thing I thought of, after reading Ann's snide comment. We live in a world of wonders, that so many take for granted, because they lack perspective. Feminists can be sickening.

Alex,

I am a male feminist.

And other men should beat you up for A) working against your own gender, and B) fun.

Alex said...

Crack - every day I fight MCPs like you. I proudly have seen the Vagina Monologues 10x.

BJM said...

@Alex

It depends on the woman. I've had the high pressure career and I remember how miserable it was to come home to a dark house.

Now there's home cooking, light and warmth and a wife who isn't tired, stressed or distracted. Why is that so terrible? Whom am I oppressing or denying? Shouldn't it be mine and Thomases wife's choice?

Feminism isn't about freedom or equality, it's about power and control; meet the new boss; the mean girls.

Ralph L said...

walls of asbestos-cement
Oops!

When my grandparents rebuilt what's now my house in 1922, they added a screened porch/pantry on the kitchen, with a 5' niche in the pantry side for a refrigerator. The 12' of base cabinets consisted of doors and one shelf--no bottom or back. Every room in the house was wall-papered except one 9x3 closet, which had a window.

k*thy said...

My father still calls the refrigerator "the ice box."

So does mine.

Alex said...

Gender equality is about giving women the right to come to a cold, dark house after a long, epic slog at work!

madawaskan said...

My father still calls the refrigerator "the ice box."

So does mine.


Supposedly Ann tried to sell Meade on this nickname for her....

The Crack Emcee said...

BJM,

Feminism isn't about freedom or equality, it's about power and control; meet the new boss; the mean girls.

Alex is a beta, hoping they'll sleep with him, when they only fall for guys like me.

Like I said, he deserves to be beat up for amusement.

madawaskan said...

But I think we all know how that ended-and why Ann's nickname for Meade is-

'Sir Edmund".

Lucien said...

They had all the litigators at "asbestos cement".

shoutingthomas said...

Ah yes, woman's place is in the kitchen cooking up tasty males for her man. MCP.

Interesting typo or malaprop there.

My Polynesian baby has yet to cook of a male, but, then again, I don't really have a taste for human flesh.

Indigo Red said...

I was born into a house with an icebox, a wood burning stove, a water bucket held the water from the outdoors pump to the house, and the wood framed screen door went BANG-thud every time it closed. We had two household items our neighbors did not - gasoline engine generated electricity at night and a two-seat outhouse.

All that was in 1954 rural Michigan.

Phil 3:14 said...

The packaged home is prefabricated, having a steel frame and walls of asbestos-cement

Yeah that caught my eye too! How backwards they were then.


But hey look at all of the public transportation (husband coming home on a train or a street car). And now we have high speed rail!

former law student said...

You guys have a problem with incredibly durable, fireproof, asbestos cement panels? As long as the fibers stay in the cement they can't harm you.

More recently than the 30s: Vinyl asbestos floor tile was installed in perhaps a million homes and commercial buildings during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, because it was attractive and durable. Just don't take a grinder to your floor.

Trooper York said...

My Polynesian baby has yet to cook of a male, but, then again, I don't really have a taste for human flesh.

Well don't be so sure there buddy. I wouldn't enquire too closely about the long pork fired rice if I were you.

edutcher said...

The Crack Emcee said...

edutcher,

It's easy to laugh, but not that many homes in 1935 (depths of the Depression, remember) had running water and that may have been all, not even electric lighting.

I'm sure a housewife of that era would have been overjoyed. I don't think we appreciate how much all those labor-saving devices do for us - and most weren't available to many families until after WWII.


That was the first thing I thought of, after reading Ann's snide comment. We live in a world of wonders, that so many take for granted, because they lack perspective. Feminists can be sickening.


Crack, if she hadn't said it that way, a lot of us would have gotten a laugh out of it - it does sound antiquated. Particularly since those little clocks never worked.

WV "inful" How your creditors would like to be paid.

knox said...

"bothered by cooking odors"

??

Trooper York said...

I have done all the cooking without exception ever since I started dating my future wife.

Just like Meade.

But then I am pussywhipped.

Just like Meade.

Trooper York said...

Plus men are better cooks than women.

Just sayn'

Ann Althouse said...

I think it would be better if we'd kept the spiffy "ice box" instead of going with "refrigerator." There are plenty of things with names that refer to earlier versions of the same thing.

I'm saying that as someone who never learned to say "fridge." I have literally never referred to the refrigerator as the "fridge."

Ann Althouse said...

Hi, Trooper.

I just read Meade your comment. He laughed.

He's making bacon.

For bacon pizza.

knox said...

I have figured out the theme for the comments today. It is: I Am Man, Hear Me Roar.

knox said...

I have literally never referred to the refrigerator as the "fridge."

Starbucks specifically forbids employees to refer to a frappuccino as a "frap". Random trivia.

Trooper York said...

knox said...
I have figured out the theme for the comments today. It is: I Am Man, Hear Me Roar.

No it's not. It is: I am Man, I want to slip you some bacon.

Meade said...

The Proud. The Few. The Pussywhipped.

Trooper York said...

Harry Callahan: [about Briggs] A man's got to know his limitations.
(Magnum Force, 1973)

Palladian said...

""bothered by cooking odors"

??"

I live in a nineteenth-century building that was not built with residence in mind and was only hastily and rudimentarily converted for residence. Unfortunately my tiny galley kitchen is nowhere near a window, so there is no ventilation. I can tell you, the smell of kippers or of 5 pounds of onions cooking or rendering lard is most unwelcome after the meal is over.

Cooking odors have long been a problem. In country houses in England, as well as palaces, the kitchen was most often a separate building or wing of the house, both to insure against fire spreading to the residence and to stop the spread of cooking odors, especially since many of these houses were full of tapestries and lots of upholstery.

I'm sure life in smaller houses and apartments was quite negatively impacted before the advent of electrical exhaust.

I keep a small electric air filter running near the stove when I'm cooking. I'd be thrilled with real electric exhaust.

Trooper York said...

Hey youse guys should just know that when Palladian throws a party you know it will take the cake. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

By the way he is the one on the right.

(I have enough people mad at me this week)

mishu said...

I'm amused at some of the commenters getting melancholy over the fact that trains or street cars seem antiquated now. They must think it's fun to stand out in the rain or cold waiting at the train stop. Yes, driving to work would be more comfortable. Me, I appreciate walking to another room in the house to go to work.

Lem said...

The packaged home is prefabricated, having a steel frame and walls of asbestos-cement, a material that looks like stucco.

Oops.

Elliott A said...

@Meade. Certainly not the "few"

Elliott A said...

I just looked and realized there are five digital clocks (all on the same time) in the kitchen appliances and cable box. The stove, microwave and coffee maker are within three feet of each other. They took Ann's reaction to heart just a little too much.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am not sure where it was, but somewhere in the last week or so, there was a discussion about how much labor had been saved in running a household, and, in particular, the kitchen, over the last century.

Women have entered the workforce, and thrived there, because they now have the time to do so. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, when my grandparents were teaching college, my grandmother could do so because they had "help", in the form of a live-in housekeeper who did the work that housewives at the time would spend their days doing. It was a full time job, doing all the cooking, cleaning, etc. for a family of 3.

And, in the generations before, houses were often larger to house the extended family and help necessary to do what needed to be done, starting before dawn when the wood (that had been previously cut and split by other household members) was brought in to get the kitchen fires going to cook breakfast, etc. And, indeed, the attorney next door can remember that in the 1950s in very rural Oregon.

It is, frankly, amazing how much labor saving technology has been introduced into the average American household in such a short amount of time. And, indeed, even many of the poorer households have many more labor saving devices than even the richest did 60 years before (though, dumb waiters are one of the greatest things imaginable for kids).

Big Mike said...

@Ralph, you and a few other commentators remind me this clip.

Ralph L said...

I just counted 15 electric fans built into my house in 2001 (not including the microwave, ice box and dryer). The electric heater in the bathroom is the most useful of them. After 10 years without a range hood, I got a big one.

Anne B. said...

Palladian, I sympathize. My house is over 100 years old and several of its rooms (including the present kitchen) were added randomly, a bit at a time, over the decades. My stove is at the opposite wall from the window and there's no ventilation. I have FINALLY got around to installing one of those cheap range hoods from Sears (no vent, just a grease trap) to at least keep the stuff from flying around the room and coating the walls.

However, I would not have been pleased, even in 1935, with a "two-day supply of groceries on the shelves." How does anyone else know how I cook, and what I want to buy?

kimsch said...

fls: I grew up in a 1928 Sears kit home with a double concrete sink in the basement.

Tyrone: When I was a kid we went to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and talked to people at the Monsanto House of the Future via that very same picture phone. Perhaps I talked to you.

wv: mantsi

Christy said...

@Aronamos, my cat would just run and hide from the Roomba someplace high in another room.

@Bruce Hayden, that would have been Megan McCardle's
The Economics of Kitchens
.

I've been thinking about it all week. My Grandfather was a Luddite. They didn't get indoor plumbing until I was 14 and I just recently learned before that their water came from a cistern. A cistern! What do you figure the water quality from that was? Grandma cooked on a wood burning stove and kept food cool in a cave the house sat atop. They had a smoke house out back. Funny thing, though. Grandma still worked non stop even after she got all that new fangled equipment. Now she could plant and can even more veggies.

The Concrete Dog said...

1844
harriet mccormick
delited in her new
oberlin iron stove

one day
hr dres cot fire
she ran into the yard
ablaze

found 3 days latr
when hiram returnd
from killarney

im afraid
i wasnt much help

WestVirginiaRebel said...

I must be younger than most of you because we had all of those modern conveniences growing up (in the 1970's.) I do remember when microwave ovens were the latest futuristic gadget (which took forever to "cook" something.)

It should be noted that a lot of our modern wonders happened because of wartime research and development during WW2, without which they might not have appeared for many more years at least.

BJM said...

@Aronamos, like Christy's cat, our older my cat would leave the room or hide.

Our younger cat decided it was prey, stalking and striking it...she finally jumped on it, spun it around and pushed it down the stairs. Having "killed" it she lost interest.

The Roomba took the licking and kept on ticking.

Cat=1
Roomba= 0

Fort said...

"William F. Buckley was..."

Veil of tears.

Soon, it shall be three years.

R.L. Hunter said...

Cats are using Roombas as attack vehicles As for built in clocks I've only seen outlets like this in commercial buildings never a house.

lily said...

thanks

AllenS said...

I still have a usable cistern. I collect the water for it off of the barn roof. The horse thinks the water is fine.

WV: enympoo

Something you get from bad water.

Kirk Parker said...

ricpic,

Nah, it just puts you in company with G.K. Chesterton (and that's an immense compliment in my book.)

Kirk Parker said...

Everyone,

You are totally on a WV roll this morning! To many LOL's to acknowledge individually. :-)

Kirk Parker said...

Methedras,

Meh. In our house, it's Keeshond 32768, Roomba 0.

Christy said...

Oh, my. I just realized I had a built-in kitchen clock in my 1948 house. I could never figure out why a single plug outlet was in the soffit over the cabinets over the fridge.