Many of these advancements were a bi-product of war efforts and technology. Kitchens have been around for centuries, however, it was not until post-civil war period that the majority of kitchen appliances were invented. 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The reason was that most people no longer had servants and housewives working alone in the kitchen needed culinary help. But the large, brick chimney and fireplace effectively divided this great room, creating two rooms: the living room (where guests were received and business conducted), and the kitchen. In the Middle Ages (in Europe this spanned the 5th – 15th centuries), life centered around the always-lit open fireplace. For these reasons, kitchens tended to be situated as far away as possible from the social or private rooms in a home. Even the lower classes placed the kitchen away from the center of the home by moving them to the back of the house, next to the outdoor work areas. That was a calculated move: Kitchens weren’t built for entertaining but for function. Notice that the stove, oven and sink are still freestanding and not fitted. The industrial revolution spurred new inventions, cheaper prices, and new ways of thinking like economic and ergonomic efficiency. Fitted cabinetry and appliances helped create a more purposeful, and beautiful interior design, and the workflow within the space became easier to use. When it comes to our kitchens, the design trends we choose should be personal – after all, family life seems to take place most predominantly within the kitchen space. From the small turnspit dog trained to turn the roasting wheel, to the use of coal then gas, the invention of cast iron, electricity, and plumbed water, kitchen conveniences were constantly changing the look of the kitchen. The trophy kitchen was born. Back in the 1800s, it was shoved to the back of the house and away from the parlor and dining room, where the guests could be found. 1930 “kitchen renovation” or cutoff date for the room was determined by the Glenwood stove model, which was sold from 1928 to 1931. Specifically bred for this task, the dog would spin the wheel and turn the spit for roasted meats. The manufacturing advancements and housing boom of post-World War II made a huge impact on the kitchen of today. Gas became the preferred source of heat and allowed ovens to become smaller and lighter. Kitchens have been around for centuries, however, it was not until post-civil war period that the majority of kitchen appliances were invented. The advent of electricity greatly advanced the technology of labor-saving kitchen appliances. Notice the round wheel above the fireplace; this would have held a Turnspit Dog. Women, having a taste of working outside the home during WWII, returned after the war and desired better design in their kitchen. Over 100 years later, kitchens are still evolving – offering cleaner designs with better functionality, but this achievement has taken centuries of innovations. Romans had used brick tubes to draw out smoke, and the earliest example of a chimney in England was 1185. According to Old House Online, “the growth of American coal and iron mining in the 1820s made cast iron the wonder material of the 19th century and led to a prolific industry in making stoves for cooking as well as heating.” Cast iron was considered a technological advancement – it could be cast into decorative shapes and forms and could easily withstand temperature swings from hot to cold. Just before the turn of the century Hoosier manufacturing company revolutionized kitchens with their cabinets. The smoke and soot created from the fires we… The oversized hearth served as a multitasking feature, used for cooking, roasting, heating. Economic trends and politics had a major influence on the design and function of the kitchen. The kitchen was becoming quieter, cleaner, better organized and easier to work in. So how did it come to be that the kitchen of today serves as the hub for nearly every aspect of home life? Kitchens are being used as testing grounds for new ideas and swarms of bloggers and entrepreneurs are entering the food crafting marketplace. These cooking areas naturally caused people to gather as they were the primary source of heat, light, safety and, of course, food. This advanced kitchen design, introduced in Germany by the efficiency expert, Frederick Winslow Taylor, focused on putting all necessary items in the kitchen within arm’s reach. Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. 1940 Armstrong advertisement for linoleum, courtesy of Mid Century Home Style. Although the Hoosier cabinet wasn’t large, it filled the storage void for the homemaker and made working in the kitchen that much more efficient. Apple Parer: On February 14, 1803, the apple parer was patented by Moses Coates. Because much of our architectural influence came from Europe, and because of the rich sources of historical information, I’ve chosen England as one example in which to discuss historical kitchens prior to the 1800’s. Fitted cabinetry and appliances helped create a more purposeful, and beautiful interior design, and the workflow within the space became easier to use. The idea of the “fitted kitchen,” wherein appliances were becoming more integrated within cabinetry, was an important transformation for the kitchen in the 1930’s and 1940’s. In ancient times, people cooked on open fires that were built outside on the ground. There is also a parallel trend towards connectivity, integrated appliances and using wireless technology throughout the home. If you are considering remodeling your kitchen, be sure you hire a kitchen designer or contractor that truly understands what your home needs, such as coffee and espresso equipment, and can give you a space that works for both now and for years to come.
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