Published at Monday, August 19th 2019. by Images Collector in Kitchen.
Leonardo da Vinci invented an automated system for a rotating spit for spit-roasting: a propeller in the chimney made the spit turn all by itself. This kind of system was widely used in wealthier homes. Beginning in the late Middle Ages, kitchens in Europe lost their home-heating function even more and were increasingly moved from the living area into a separate room. The living room was now heated by cocklestoves, operated from the kitchen, which offered the huge advantage of not filling the room with smoke.
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 trend to increasing gasification and electrification continued at the turn of the 20th century. In industry, it was the phase of work process optimization. Taylorism was born, and time-motion studies were used to optimize processes. These ideas also spilled over into domestic kitchen architecture because of a growing trend that called for a professionalization of household work, started in the mid-19th century by Catharine Beecher and amplified by Christine Fredericks publications in the 1910s.
The medieval smoke kitchen (or Farmhouse kitchen) remained common, especially in rural farmhouses and generally in poorer homes, until much later. In a few European farmhouses, the smoke kitchen was in regular use until the middle of the 20th century. These houses often had no chimney, but only a smoke hood above the fireplace, made of wood and covered with clay, used to smoke meat. The smoke rose more or less freely, warming the upstairs rooms and protecting the woodwork from vermin.
The idea of standardized was first introduced locally with the Frankfurt kitchen, but later defined new in the "Swedish kitchen" (Svensk köksstandard, Swedish kitchen standard). The equipment used remained a standard for years to come: hot and cold water on tap and a kitchen sink and an electrical or gas stove and oven. Not much later, the refrigerator was added as a standard item. The concept was refined in the "Swedish kitchen" using unit furniture with wooden fronts for the kitchen cabinets. Soon, the concept was amended by the use of smooth synthetic door and drawer fronts, first in white, recalling a sense of cleanliness and alluding to sterile lab or hospital settings, but soon after in more lively colors, too. Some years after the Frankfurt Kitchen, Poggenpohl presented the "reform kitchen" in 1928 with interconnecting cabinets and functional interiors. The reform kitchen was a forerunner to the later unit kitchen and fitted kitchen.
In contrast, there were no dramatic changes for the upper classes. The kitchen, located in the basement or the ground floor, continued to be operated by servants. In some houses, water pumps were installed, and some even had kitchen sinks and drains (but no water on tap yet, except for some feudal kitchens in castles). The kitchen became a much cleaner space with the advent of "cooking machines", closed stoves made of iron plates and fired by wood and increasingly charcoal or coal, and that had flue pipes connected to the chimney. For the servants the kitchen continued to also serve as a sleeping room; they slept either on the floor, or later in narrow spaces above a lowered ceiling, for the new stoves with their smoke outlet no longer required a high ceiling in the kitchen. The kitchen floors were tiled; kitchenware was neatly stored in cupboards to protect them from dust and steam. A large table served as a workbench; there were at least as many chairs as there were servants, for the table in the kitchen also doubled as the eating place for the servants.
A stepstone was the kitchen designed in Frankfurt by Margarethe Schütte-Lihotzky. Working class women frequently worked in factories to ensure the familys survival, as the mens wages often did not suffice. Social housing projects led to the next milestone: the Frankfurt Kitchen. Developed in 1926, this kitchen measured 1.9 m by 3.4 m (approximately 6 ft 2 in by 11 ft 2 in, with a standard layout). It was built for two purposes: to optimize kitchen work to reduce cooking time and lower the cost of building decently equipped kitchens. The design, created by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, was the result of detailed time-motion studies and interviews with future tenants to identify what they needed from their kitchens. Schütte-Lihotzkys fitted kitchen was built in some 10,000 apartments in the housing projects erected in Frankfurt in the 1930s.
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