Published at Saturday, October 12th 2019. by Images Collector in Kitchen.
The initial reception was critical: it was so small that only one person could work in it; some storage spaces intended for raw loose food ingredients such as flour were reachable by children. But the Frankfurt kitchen embodied a standard for the rest of the 20th century in rental apartments: the "work kitchen". It was criticized as "exiling the women in the kitchen", but post-World War II economic reasons prevailed. The kitchen once more was seen as a work place that needed to be separated from the living areas. Practical reasons also played a role in this development: just as in the bourgeois homes of the past, one reason for separating the kitchen was to keep the steam and smells of cooking out of the living room.
Unit construction since its introduction has defined the development of the modern kitchen. Pre-manufactured modules, using mass manufacturing techniques developed during World War II, greatly brought down the cost of a kitchen. Units which are kept on the floor are called "floor units", "floor cabinets", or "base cabinets" on which a kitchen worktop – originally often formica and often now made of granite, marble, tile or wood – is placed. The units which are held on the wall for storage purposes are termed as "wall units" or "wall cabinets". In small areas of kitchen in an apartment, even a "tall storage unit" is available for effective storage. In cheaper brands, all cabinets are kept a uniform color, normally white, with interchangeable doors and accessories chosen by the customer to give a varied look. In more expensive brands, the cabinets are produced matching the doors colors and finishes, for an older more bespoke look.
The urbanization in the second half of the 19th century induced other significant changes that would ultimately change the kitchen. Out of sheer necessity, cities began planning and building water distribution pipes into homes, and built sewers to deal with the waste water. Gas pipes were laid; gas was used first for lighting purposes, but once the network had grown sufficiently, it also became available for heating and cooking on gas stoves. At the turn of the 20th century, electricity had been mastered well enough to become a commercially viable alternative to gas and slowly started replacing the latter. But like the gas stove, the electric stove had a slow start. The first electrical stove had been presented in 1893 at the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago, but it was not until the 1930s that the technology was stable enough and began to take off.
The urban middle class imitated the luxurious dining styles of the upper class as best as they could. Living in smaller apartments, the kitchen was the main room—here, the family lived. The study or living room was saved for special occasions such as an occasional dinner invitation. Because of this, these middle-class kitchens were often more homely than those of the upper class, where the kitchen was a work-only room occupied only by the servants. Besides a cupboard to store the kitchenware, there were a table and chairs, where the family would dine, and sometimes—if space allowed—even a fauteuil or a couch.
In developed countries, commercial kitchens are generally subject to public health laws. They are inspected periodically by public-health officials, and forced to close if they do not meet hygienic requirements mandated by law.
In the southern states, where the climate and sociological conditions differed from the north, the kitchen was often relegated to an outbuilding. On plantations, it was separate from the big house or mansion in much the same way as the feudal kitchen in medieval Europe: the kitchen was operated by slaves in the antebellum years. Their working place was separated from the living area of the masters by the social standards, but more importantly, it was a means to reduce the chance of fire in the main house from kitchen operations.
With the advent of the chimney, the hearth moved from the center of the room to one wall, and the first brick-and-mortar hearths were built. The fire was lit on top of the construction; a vault underneath served to store wood. Pots made of iron, bronze, or copper started to replace the pottery used earlier. The temperature was controlled by hanging the pot higher or lower over the fire, or placing it on a trivet or directly on the hot ashes. Using open fire for cooking (and heating) was risky; fires devastating whole cities occurred frequently.
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